So I have a ridiculously sweet tooth, and therefore a slight baklava addiction… If you haven’t had it, it’s a wonderful mix of filo pastry, honey and nuts. What’s not to love? (Unless you have a nut allergy or are an infant under the age of 1…. In which case, I recommend cake).
I always imagined that baklava would be really hard to make, but its actually really easy, and you’ll be very proud of yourself!
Ingredients (makes about 15 pieces)
75g dark muscavado sugar
75g caster sugar
50ml Greek honey
2 strips of orange zest
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
6 sheets of filo pastry
a pat of butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 170c/gas mark 3. Melt the sugars, honey, zest, 1 tsp of the cinnamon and the water together in a saucepan, and simmer gently for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it has reduced by about a third. Take it off the heat and leave to cool.
Put the nuts, remaining tsp of cinnamon and the cloves into a food processor and blitz until coarse.
Using a pastry brush, lightly grease a 20cm x 25cm shallow tin with melted butter. Unfold the filo pastry, cut it in half widthways, and cover it with a damp tea towel (this stops it drying out and cracking).
Place one half a sheet of pastry in the tin, and brush with melted butter. Repeat until there are 4 pieces of pastry in the tin, and then cover with half the nut mixture. Repeat with 4 more pieces of filo and the rest of the nuts, and then the final 4 pieces of filo.
Cover the top of the pastry with a generous amount of butter, and then cut it into diamonds (make sure the knife goes all the way through every layer of pastry).
Cook in the middle of the oven for 40-45 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. If the top looks to be browning too quickly turn the oven down slightly.
When done, take the baklava out of the oven and spoon half the syrup over it (the syrup should be completely cool, otherwise it makes the pastry soggy). After 5 minutes add the rest of the syrup. When it’s cool enough, tuck in!