"A Greek favorite that makes everyone think you are a master chef and is sooo easy to make!! I taught a Greek friend how to make apple pie and she taught me this fabulous recipe. The phyllo dough for this recipe is found in the freezer section of most grocery stores. Add a little lemon zest to the sugar sauce, if desired." — NEONWILLIE
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1 (16 ounce) package
I have made Baklava for about 30 years now, ever since my greek stepmother made it during my teenage years. At first it took me about an hour to assemble, but now only about 15 minutes. Here are the shortcuts to save time. I do let the phyllo dough thaw, but do not cut the dough and do not cover it while layering. I just drape the bottom half over the pan and then fold the top half over it, "painting" a thin layer of butter quickly. I use a new and clean basting paint brush, to spread a very thin layer of butter between each phyllo sheet. It is only necessary to lightly brush on the butter, not saturate. The more wrinkles the sheet has in it, the better. You just keep putting and folding the edges and that ends up making the baklava more layered and crispy. If it turns out soggy, it's from too much butter, not the sauce. Also, when you cut the Baklava before you bake it, use a sharp knife and cut to within a half inch FROM the bottom of the pan, so then when you pour the sauce into the cooled Baklava, the sauce seeps into every layer of the Baklava, but doesn't sit at the bottom. Then, cut all the way thru after the whole thing has completely cooled.
This recipe is very good, almost similar and true to real Greek baklava. However, the syrup is not right. It is supposed to be thick in consistency, this syrup was too watery and was not thick enough.
Something that should be added to the syrup is orange or lemon peel. It's traditional in baklava syrups and it gives a sweet scent and taste.
I have been using this recipe from allrecipes.com for years, and I just realized I never reviewed it. I have made it dozens of times, and without fail it always impresses. You should follow these tips that are suggested by other reviewers: 1) Lightly roast nuts prior to chopping (I always use walnuts). 2) Make 1 1/2 times sauce recipe calls far. 3) Make sauce AHEAD of recipe, and put in the fridge to cool. By pouring the cool syrup on the warm baklava it will turn out crispy. 4) Cook at 325F until browned on top (I have found 350F a little too high) This recipe, along with the Classic Tiramisu also on this site, are my top 2 desserts to make. For any function, family get together or holiday, I always get requests for these 2 desserts.
I have another tip to use for this recipe. I really wanted to use real butter, and I had so much trouble using a pastry brush to brush the butter on because it kept crunching up the dough as I painted, so I bought I can't believe it's not butter spray and dumped the contents in a cup, then I melted my "real butter" and put it into the spray bottle and sprayed the dough. This saved time and your dough won't crunch up. Then after I was done I just poured the other stuff back into the bottle.
This is the second time I have tried this recipe and it just keeps getting easier. A few tricks I learned this time: Make the sauce first, before you start to do anything else with the baklava. Let it cook while you are preparing and putting everything together, and let it cool while the baklava is cooking. I got the sauce started, and then chopped and prepared the nuts (I used a variety of nuts; almonds, walnuts and pecans), and rolled out my dough. I lay out my phyllo dough before I start layering and cut it to the shape of the pan I am making it in. This made the layering SO much easier. I put a piece of plastic wrap over the phyllo dough and then the damp towel. This helps keep the dough from sticking to the towel. I made an extra 1/2 of the sauce recipe and it seems like the perfect amount (I doubled it last time and it seemed like too much). I also used about 2 sticks of butter instead of 1. It took me about an hour total to prepare and assemble. CUT the baklava after assembly and before cooking, and top with butter to make everything smooth and “pretty”. Put the cooled sauce on as soon as you pull the baklava out of the oven. I let it adsorb overnight. Easy and wonderful!! It tastes like the baklava I buy in the Greek stores downtown and a LOT cheaper per piece. I think this cost me around $15 to make and I yeilded 3 dozen pieces(it would be less if I did not use almonds and pecans). I will be making this for years to come!
I have made this recipe numerous times and it is always a huge hit. In fact it just won best of show at the county fair in the culinary division! A few modifications I have made...
I use toasted pecans for the nuts. I mix 1/4 cup sugar in with the cinnamon and nuts. I make the syrup first and allow it to cool while I put together the baklava and bake it, then I can pour cooled syrup onto hot baklava (this helps keep it from becoming soggy). I also use only 1/2 cup of water and a full cup on honey in the syrup. I usually need more butter than called for also.
I am so thankful to Donna for posting this recipe. She has made a lot of us look like pro's. And thanks to everyone else who has written reviews with their tips here and there. You know a recipe is great when over 175 people take the time to write a review on it!
A good recipe, but here are a couple of hints: Melt the butter and use a pastry brush. Cut the pastry BEFORE you bake it . Pistachios, walnuts and pecans are the best nuts for baklava. DO NOT cover after complete, and remove from baking pan so the bottom doesn't soggy.
It's nice recipe but baklava is a Turkish dessert not Greek.They learned it from Turks in Ottoman era.Turks make baklava in their special days.Gaziantep city's baklava very famous in the world and there are even Turkish baklava stores in Athens
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Serving Size: 1/18 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 18
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat: 233
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