I have a sweet tooth. There I said it. I like things sweet. And if something is sweet AND syrupy, you really can’t go wrong.
One of my mom’s good friends is Greek and when I was a kid, she gave my mom a cook book that she used. My mom didn’t really use it so when it came time for me to move out, she let me take the cook book with my on my adventures. I haven’t gotten to try out as many recipes as I would like, but there are two that I go back to over and over gain – Spanakopeta and Baklava.
My husband also loves Baklava so whenever it’s an occasion like his birthday or our anniversary I make it for him. Though he’s Persian, he prefers the Greek-style Baklava (Persian style is less syrupy and usually has rose water in the syrup). I’ve made both and we agree that this is the Baklava recipe winner.
Be advised, that I am re-printing the original recipe but unless you have a large family or are making this for a gathering it will be way too much. For the Baklava pictured above, I made 1/2 the Baklava recipe and 1/3 of the syrup recipe. I also added substituted pistachios for the walnuts because I love pistachios and dislike walnuts.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!
Recipe re-printed from Popular Greek Recipes
1 lb walnut meats or almonds, ground [I like to do a combo of almond and pistachio]
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 lb. fila
1 lb. butter, melted and clarified
Whole cloves (optional) [I did not use them]
Syrup [recipe below]
1. Pre-heat oven to 325°.
2. Combine coarsely ground nuts with sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
3. Line bottom of buttered pan, 9″x 12″, with 10 to 12 fila, brushing each with melted butter. Sprinkle with a thin layer of nut mixture. Cover with 3 fila, brushing each with melted butter. Sprinkle more nut mixture. Repeat process, until all nut mixture is used, usually in 4 layers.
4. Cover with remaining buttered fila. Chill 25 minutes.
5. Cut pastry into small diamond shapes. Brush again with melted butter. Insert whole cloves in center of each piece.
6. Bake in slow oven 325° for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. When slightly browned, remove from oven; slowly pour enough cooled syrup over hot Baklava until completely absorbed.
3 cups sugar
1/2 cups water [I add a little extra water]
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup honey
Combine sugar, water and lemon juice. Boil 10 minutes. Slowly add honey, and simmer for 5 minutes. Cool.