Saturday, December 18, 2010

Baklava

Filo, Fillo, Phyllo...personally I can't stand words that have more than two possible spellings (even two is annoying).  Don't get me started on Hanukkah, Hannukah, Chanukah, Chanukkah.  But I digress.  I love filo dough because it's simple to use but never fails to impress.  People who have never cooked with it think you've pulled off something complicated and fancy.  But the truth is that as long as the dough has been defrosted properly, it's a breeze.

This recipe is a little drier than most baklava (most use a wet syrup instead of straight up honey).  Both ways taste good if you ask me, I just like it this way because it's easier to cut and handle.
closeup of layers
  
BAKLAVA
Yield: 24 (or 48 mini)

16 oz. chopped walnuts (4 cups)
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 oz. filo (phyllo) dough, defrosted*
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted (or more if needed)
12 oz. honey


Preheat oven to 300° F.  Brush a 13” x 9” baking dish with melted butter.
1.      In a large bowl, mix walnuts, sugar and cinnamon.
2.      The filo dough usually comes already cut in 13” x 9” rectangles (if not, cut to fit).  In baking dish, place 1 sheet of filo; brush with butter.  Repeat 5 more times to make 6 layers of filo altogether (brushing each layer with butter).  Sprinkle with 1 1/3 cups walnut mixture (spread evenly).
3.      Layer 6 more sheets of filo over walnut mixture (brushing each sheet with butter).  Sprinkle with 1 1/3 cups walnut mixture.  Repeat with 6 more layers of filo, remaining walnut mixture and 6 final layers of filo (brush top layer with butter too).
4.      Using a sharp knife, cut just halfway through layers in a triangle pattern to make 24 servings (cut lengthwise into 3 strips; cut each strip crosswise into 4 rectangles; then cut each rectangle diagonally into 2 triangles).  For minis: cut each triangle in half again to make smaller triangles.
5.      Bake for 1 hour and 25 minutes (or until top is golden brown).
6.      Heat honey in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until hot, but not boiling (honey should become thin).  Spoon hot honey evenly over hot baklava.  Cool in pan on wire rack for at least 1 hour, then cover with foil and let stand at room temperature.
7.      Finish cutting through layers with a sharp knife before serving.

*Filo dough can be found in the freezer section of most grocery stores. The dough will stick together if not fully defrosted.  The filo dough sheets are paper thin, so handle with care.  If left out for too long, the sheets will dry and crumble, so if this is your first time, and you're moving a little slowly, keep the remaining filo covered with a damp towel while you build the layers.
buttering the layers (it doesn't look pretty yet, but keep going)
walnut layer
cut into large triangles
cut into minis
done (just before honey is poured over)
after honey (ooh, shiny)
gifting

I usually make the mini size.  It's easier to pick up and you get more (I know it's the same amount, but you get more)!

1 comment:

foodieformerlyfat.com said...

This amazing! Adam's comment about it was simply that it was "insane". I took one bite and literally just closed my eyes and sighed. So delicious.

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