Baklava is biiiig in my house but it never crossed my mind to try and make it myself until I was inspired by an episode of this years Great British Bake Off.
I adapted the recipe from a few a found online and I was so pleased it turned out really well! So well, I actually had to stop myself from sitting and eating the whole pan in one go… It works best if you make it the night before, so it can become all delicious and syrupy overnight.
To make your own, you will need to below:
- 225g unsalted butter
- One pack of ready made filo pastry (feel free to make your own, but as far as I am concerned, life is too short!)
- 300g mixed almonds, pistachios, walnuts and pecans – that was what I had in the house, but use any combo you fancy
- 150g of separate pistachios
- 2 heaped tablespoons of dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon (you can also add a tablespoon of cardamom here – I hate the flavour so I left it out!)
- 350g caster sugar
- 300ml water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons rose water
- stick of cinnamon
Firstly, line a tin with greaseproof paper and heat your oven to Gas Mark 4/180C.
Now, bung all your mixed nuts into a pan on a low heat until they are lightly toasted. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn! Once they are done, blitz them in a food processor until they are all roughly chopped but don’t blitz so much that you end up with dust. Add your sugar and cinnamon and stir until they are all combined.
Measure out your butter and pop it into the microwave for a minute or so, until it is completely melted.
Open up your packet of filo and cut with scissors down the middle, so you end up with double the amount of sheets.
Place a sheet of filo in the bottom of the pan and brush over with one these your melted butter. Place a second sheet over the top and brush again with butter. Repeat with a further 8 sheets, making sure you brush with butter each time.
Take half your nut mixture and spread it evenly over the pastry.
Add another 5 layers of pastry and then add the rest of the nut mixture.
Keep going with all your remaining pastry until it you have run out – it should be another 7-8 sheets. I had some melted butter remaining at the end so I threw it all on the top.
Take a sharp knife and cut a criss cross (or whatever shape you want!) into your pastry, only going as far down as the first nut layer.
Pop into the oven for 20 minutes at Gas Mark 4, before lowering the temperature to Gas Mark 2 and bake for a further 30-40 minutes. It should look all puffed up and golden when it’s done
While it’s baking, make your syrup. Mix together the sugar and water in a heavy bottomed saucepan on a low heat. Add your lemon juice, rose water and cinnamon stick and keep stirring until the sugar has dissolved and water has become all syrupy. Mine was thinner than I thought it would be, but that’s totally fine!
Blitz your separate 150g of pistachios until they are also roughly chopped.
Pour your syrup over the pastry while it is still warm and then sprinkle the pistachios on top. Leave overnight.
Next day, chop into manageable chunks and shout ‘BAKLAVAAAA’ at bewildered guests as they come through the front door.