Baklava - Everybody's Favorite

Baklava . . . just the sound of it is intoxicating.  And I promise, if you have never eaten baklava, once you do, you will be hooked for life.  Baklava is like potato chips, you can never eat just one piece.  Once piece becomes two, becomes three and so on.  Baklava is a food that I often get requested to make.  If I make baklava for you, I LOVE you!!!! Baklava is not hard to make, it is just time consuming.  Today, I would like to share my recipe for baklava. So roll your sleeves up, crank up the music and get cooking! It will be worth it.  Hope you enjoy! 



Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix the sugar and water in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil for about 5 minutes. Then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for about 10-15 minutes stir with a wooden spoon.
  3. You can test if it is ready by stirring your syrup and then using a clean finger, rub the back of the spoon (let it cool for a second or two). If it feels thick it is ready.
  4. Stir in the lemon juice and cool completely.
  5. Next, toast your pistachios and place in food processor. Process to a medium fine grind, reserving 1/8 cup for topping.
  6. Mix in the cinnamon and sugar.
  7. Once you open your dough, you need to keep it covered with a slightly damp clean kitchen towel.
  8. Take your two pans and brush the bottoms of both with the clarified butter.
  9. Put one sheet of the phyllo dough in the bottom of each pan and brush the tops with butter.
  10. Layer about 10 sheets of the phyllo dough buttering between each sheet.
  11. Prepare both pans at the same time or if you are using one larger pan, cover the bottom and do the layers in the same manner.
  12. Evenly distribute half of the nut mixture over your pan or both pans if you are using two pans. (You can very lightly mist this layer with a spray bottle filled with water to make sure the next layer will not move around.)
  13. Top with a layer of dough and brush with butter, repeating as before with 6 more sheets.
  14. Top with remaining nut mixture and layer the remaining sheets which should be about 6 more depending on your brand of dough.
  15. Take a sharp knife and cut your baklava into triangle or diamond shapes.
  16. Cutting the baklava before baking ensures that your baklava looks good when it is presented and also all the syrup can get into each piece evenly.
  17. Bake the baklava in the center of the oven for 30 minutes and then lower the heat to 325 degrees and bake 25-30 minutes more.
  18. The baklava should be light golden in color.
  19. Remove from the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  20. Re-cut all the way through along the lines you cut before baking.
  21. Pour the cold syrup evenly over the baklava.
  22. If you are using the optional honey step, lightly drizzle the 1/2 cup honey over the top. Let cool and then move to a serving dish. Serve at room temperature - if you can wait that long! Afiyet olsun!
  23. Notes:
  24. * Important make your syrup first and let it cool. If you put hot syrup on hot baklava, the syrup will crystallize and your baklava will be soggy. You have to put cool syrup on warm baklava or warm syrup on cool baklava. It is easier to make the syrup and set it aside.
  25. * If there is any left, you can store in an airtight container. The baklava must be completely cooled before storing.

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