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Baklava

ingredients

serves 6 - 8
350 g (12 oz) 3 3/4 cups ground pistachio nuts
150 g (5 oz) l 1/4 cups icing sugar
15 ml (1 tbsp) ground cardamom
150 g (5 oz) 2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
450 g (1 lb) filo pastry

for the syrup

450 g (1 lb) 2 cups granulated sugar
300 ml (1/2 pint) 1 1/4 cups water
30 ml (2 tbsp) rose-water

method

1. First make the syrup: place the sugar and water in a saucepan, bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes until syrupy. Stir in the rose-water and leave to cool.

2. Mix together the nuts, icing sugar and cardamom. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas 3 and brush a large rectangular baking tin with a little melted butter.

3. Taking one sheet of filo pastry at a time, and keeping the remainder covered with a damp cloth, brush with melted butter and lay on the bottom of the tin. Continue until you have six buttered layers in the tin. Spread half of the nut mixture over, pressing down with a spoon.

4. Take another six sheets of filo pastry, brush with butter and lay over the nut mixture. Sprinkle over the remaining nuts and top with a final layer of six filo sheets brushed again with butter. Cut the pastry diagonally into small lozenge shapes using a sharp knife. Pour the remaining melted butter over the top.

5. Bake for 20 minutes then increase the heat to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6 and bake for 15 minutes until light golden in colour and puffed.

6. Remove from the oven and drizzle about three quarters of the syrup over the pastry, reserving the remainder for serving. Arrange the baklava lozenges on a large glass dish and serve with extra syrup.

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