Recipe: Baklava

This Arabic fave needs no introduction
ByJasmine BandaliThursday , 25 December 2014
Recipe: Baklava


1 roll of frozen filo pastry sheets, thawed
125g butter, melted
For the filling
300g pecan nuts, finely chopped
300g almonds, finely ground
½ cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
For the syrup
2 cups water
1 ½ cups sugar
1 whole clove
Juice of ½ a lemon

1 Preheat oven to 180C.
2 Chop the nuts in a food processor.
3 Mix the pecan nuts, almonds, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Set aside.
4 Carefully remove the filo pastry roll from the plastic sleeve.
5 Using a pair of scissors or a sharp knife cut the sheets in half. To prevent drying, cover with a damp towel.
6 Using a pastry brush, brush the bottom and sides of a rectangular pan with melted butter.
7 Begin by layering six sheets of filo making sure to brush each with the melted butter.
8 Add half of the nut mixture in an even layer. Pat it down with a spatula to flatten.
9 Continue layering another 6 sheets of filo.
10 Add the remaining nut mixture in an even layer. Top with the remaining filo sheets.
11 Before baking, score the top layer of filo (making sure not to go past the top filling layer) to enable easier cutting of pieces later.
12 Bake for about 45 minutes or until the filo pastry turns a rich golden colour.
13 While the baklava is baking, combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan and mix well.
14 Add the clove and simmer over a medium high heat for about 20 minutes. You want the syrup to be slightly thickened.
15 Remove from the heat and discard the clove. Stir in the juice of half a lemon. Allow the syrup to cool slightly.
16 When the baklava is out of the oven and still warm, ladle the syrup carefully into the pan.
17 Baklava can be refrigerated or stored at room temperature.

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