Are you ready for the most delicious and decadent dessert you will ever eat? Look no further because my baklava recipe is here to satisfy your sweet tooth. This Greek dessert is made with layers of phyllo pastry, butter, sugar, and nuts all soaked in a syrup made of honey, sugar, and lemon juice.
Not only is this baklava recipe the best you will ever taste, but it’s also surprisingly easy to make. With just a few simple ingredients and some patience, you can create a dessert that will impress everyone at the dinner table.
My love for baklava started when I was first introduced to it during my travels in Turkey. I was blown away by the perfect balance of textures and flavors that came together in every bite. After diving into the history and evolution of this classic dessert, I knew I had to master the art of making it myself.
This recipe is a fusion of traditional Greek and Turkish baklava, with a few personal tweaks added to create the ultimate dessert experience. Trust me, you won’t regret giving this recipe a try. So pull out some phyllo dough, grab your favorite nuts, and let’s make some baklava!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Listen up, baklava lovers! I have the perfect recipe for you that will leave you stunned and craving for more. Trust me, this is not your regular baklava recipe – it is the best baklava recipe you will ever eat.
What makes this recipe so different, you may ask? Well, for starters, we’re using phyllo pastry dough that’s been perfectly thawed for optimal results. This dough is layered to perfection with a delicious blend of butter, sugar, and chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans) along with raisins and shredded coconut for added texture.
To add a little bit of a twist to the traditional baklava, we’ve included some spices and extracts that give it an additional kick. A dash of vanilla extract and clove powder works wonders with the lemon juice blend we soak our pastry in before baking it.
But what takes this recipe over the top is the orange blossom and honey syrup we made from scratch. Trust me; this particular ingredient will make you feel like you’re savoring a slice of Mediterranean heaven. The delicate floral notes of the orange blossom meld together perfectly with honey to create a syrupy masterpiece.
Whether you are serving it after dinner or as an afternoon pick-me-up with coffee, there’s no denying that this baklava is the star of the show. So, all in all, if you want to experience the real taste of classic Greek baklava with an upgraded twist from Ehud’s kitchen, give this recipe a try. You won’t be disappointed – I guarantee it!
Now that you’re ready to start making the best baklava you will ever eat, let’s take a look at the list of ingredients you’ll need to make it happen.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 pound chopped nuts (walnuts, pistachios, almonds or a combination of them)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 lb. package of phyllo dough, thawed
- 1 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the honey syrup:
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup honey or orange blossom honey
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
The Recipe How-To
Now that you’ve got all the ingredients ready, it’s time to get cooking! In this section, I will take you through each step of making the best baklava you will ever eat. So, let’s start!
Prep Your Phyllo Dough
First things first. Take out the phyllo dough from the freezer and let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator. In case you forget to take it out ahead of time, you can keep it at room temperature for 2-4 hours. Make sure to keep the phyllo dough covered with a damp towel to prevent it from drying out.
Prepare the Nut Mixture
The nut mixture is what makes baklava unique and delicious. In a large bowl, mix together 1 pound of chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds or pistachios) along with 1 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves. This mixture adds spicy and sweet flavor notes to the dish.
In a separate bowl, melt 1 cup of butter in the microwave or on stove-top over low heat until fully melted.
Layer Phyllo Dough and Nut Mixture
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Now place one sheet of phyllo dough on a greased baking sheet and brush it With melted butter using a pastry brush. Add another layer on top of the first, repeat coating with melted butter. Do this with 6 sheets.
Now spread a layer of nut mixture evenly over these layers; keep repeating the process until all nuts mixture is used.
Top off with 6 layers of phyllo dough generously coated with butter just like before.
Cut into Diamond Shapes
Using a sharp knife, cut across the whole pan in diamond shapes. Make sure you don’t cut too deep otherwise your pieces will fall apart.
Bake for 45 minutes or till then bake till golden brown.
Drizzle Orange-Blossom Honey Syrup
The finishing touch is incredibly important: drizzled honey syrup! While baklava is baking, bring 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup honey and few drops of lemon juice to boil for 3-5 minutes till bubbles appear. Then add few drops of orange blossom (optional) to add fragrance.
When done baking pour honey syrup slowly over baklava right after taking it out from oven Make sure syrup goes into every inch slices.
And there we have it- your classic Greek baklava is ready to be enjoyed!
Substitutions and Variations
Are you feeling adventurous? Want to add your own little touch to the recipe? I get it, sometimes you just want to switch things up. Lucky for you, I’ve got you covered. Here are a few simple substitutions and variations to try out:
– Nuts: You can use any nuts you like, really. Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, or cashews all work great. If you’re feeling extra fancy, try combining two or more types of nuts for a unique flavor profile.
– Spices: The beauty of this recipe is that it’s versatile enough to accommodate different spice preferences. If you’re not a fan of cloves, try using ground cardamom instead. Or switch out the cinnamon for nutmeg or allspice.
– Sweetener: While honey syrup is traditional in baklava recipes, you can also use other sweeteners like maple syrup or agave nectar if you prefer.
– Syrup flavors: Speaking of honey syrup, feel free to experiment with different flavors for the syrup. Try orange blossom water or rose water instead of lemon juice for a floral twist on the classic recipe.
– Filo dough: If you can’t find phyllo dough at your local grocery store, don’t worry! You can use filo dough (also spelled “philo”) instead. It’s basically the same thing, just spelled differently depending on where you are.
– Baklava rolls: If you want to switch up the presentation a bit, try rolling the baklava instead of layering it. Simply lay out a sheet of phyllo dough and brush with butter and honey syrup as usual. Then roll up tightly like a jelly roll and slice into rounds before baking.
Remember, these substitutions and variations are just suggestions – feel free to get creative and make your own unique version of the best baklava ever!
Serving and Pairing
Now that your freshly baked baklava is ready, it’s time to indulge in its decadent flavors. Baklava is best served warm with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. The melted honey syrup combined with the crunchy phyllo dough and nutty filling creates a perfect balance of textures that will leave you wanting more.
To enhance the flavors of your baklava, consider pairing it with a cup of strong coffee or a glass of sweet dessert wine such as Muscat or Port. The bold notes of coffee or the fruity undertones of wine help to cut through the richness of the baklava and balance its sweetness.
For a more traditional experience, try serving your baklava with Arabic coffee or tea. The bitterness of the coffee pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the honey and nuts in the baklava, while tea’s floral aromas provide a refreshing contrast.
You can also experiment with different variations of baklava such as pistachio baklava or Turkish baklava rolls to create different pairing options. Pistachios add a unique savory element to the nut filling, while Turkish-style baklava rolls use filo dough instead of phyllo dough, creating a lighter texture that pairs well with fresh fruits such as strawberries or raspberries.
No matter how you choose to serve your baklava, make sure to savor each bite and take in all the flavors and textures – this is truly one of the best desserts you will ever eat!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
When it comes to baklava, making it ahead of time can be a game-changer. The layers of phyllo dough, sweetened nuts, and honey syrup need time to soak and meld together, resulting in an even more delicious and decadent dessert. Not to mention, preparing baklava in advance frees up your valuable time on the day of serving.
To make ahead, the best approach is to bake the baklava, let it cool completely, cover tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and store it in the refrigerator. Baklava can be refrigerated for up to a week without diminishing its texture or flavor.
Reheating baklava is simple but requires some care to ensure it retains its crispy layers. Preheat your oven to 350F (175C) and reheat individual pieces for 5-10 minutes until heated through. Do not microwave baklava or you’ll end up with soggy pastry. The key to perfectly reheated baklava is to make sure the temperature isn’t too high or too low that will result in dryness or sogginess.
If you aren’t planning on eating a whole tray of baklava during the week when you store it and there are leftovers, it’s best to cut and store them separately. This way each piece maintains its shape, and you don’t have to keep cutting off portions of the tray.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to savor the same fresh taste every time you have a bite of this delightful treat whether freshly made or reheated –a perfect make-ahead option for entertaining throughout holidays!
Tips for Perfect Results
Baklava is a delicate dessert requiring finesse to ensure it turns out as perfect as can be. Here are a few tips to help you ace this recipe and create the best baklava you’ll ever eat.
1. Thaw your Phyllo Dough Properly
Phyllo dough is the foundation of baklava, and if it’s not handled correctly, it can lead to destroyed layers and uneven results. Make sure to properly thaw the phyllo dough before using it. Simply take it out of the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge overnight, or on the counter for a couple of hours before starting on your recipe.
2. Keep Phyllo Dough Covered
As you’re working with phyllo dough, make sure to keep what you’re not using covered with a damp towel. When exposed to air for an extended period, phyllo sheets dry out fast, causing them to crack and crumble.
3. Get Perfectly Golden Phyllo Layers
To get that beautiful golden color of every phyllo layer, apply melted butter evenly between each sheet using a pastry brush. This gives each crisp layer its signature lightness and flavor.
4. Keep an Eye on Temperature
While you want hot melted butter when brushing over your layers, keep it at a moderate temperature when pouring honey syrup on top of the freshly baked baklava. A hot mixture poured on hot pastry doesn’t allow the syrup to absorb into the layers well which leads to uneven moisture distribution.
5. Use Sharp Knife for Cutting Baklava
Once you’ve poured honey syrup over top of your baklava have patience! Allow that honey goodness time to soak in before cutting through with a sharp knife (a serrated knife works best) into diamond-shaped cuts without tearing or crushing the crispy layers below.
By following these simple tips, you will end up with deliciously golden layered pastry perfectly coated with mouth-watering honey syrups and never go back to any other baklava recipe!
Now that you have all the information you need to make the best baklava you will ever eat, let’s address some frequently asked questions that may arise while preparing this delicious treat. From how to store and reheat baklava, to potential ingredient substitutions, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive into the FAQ section of this recipe article.
What is the secret to crispy baklava?
To attain a crispy texture in your baklava, opt for clarified butter or ghee as opposed to the regular butter. The clarified butter will lower the moisture content of the phyllo dough while still maintaining the flaky layers in their crispy state.
What is the best tasting baklava?
Pistachio baklava, a delectable and renowned dessert, is highly addictive from the very first bite. Originating in Turkey and Syria, this succulent pastry consists of 40 delicate layers of phyllo dough and is generously filled with crushed pistachios.
What is the difference between Greek baklava and Lebanese baklava?
Baklava variations exist across the Middle East, with Greek baklava typically sweetened with honey and spices, while Lebanese baklawa is flavored with orange blossom syrup and rose water.
What is the oldest recipe for baklava?
The origin of Persian baklava can be traced back to a 13th-century cookbook that drew inspiration from 9th-century Persian culinary traditions. This cookbook featured a recipe for a sweet dish that involved encasing almond paste inside wafer-thin dough and drizzling it with a generous amount of honey.
: In conclusion, this recipe for the best baklava you will ever eat is not just a dessert, it’s a work of art that will impress anyone who tries it. With its layers of flaky phyllo dough, rich nuts, and sweet honey syrup, this classic Greek dessert is truly a masterpiece that satisfies both your taste buds and your soul.
And with our easy-to-follow instructions, you can now make this delicious dessert from scratch in your own kitchen. So why not give it a try? With some practice and a little patience, you’ll soon be making the best homemade baklava that will rival any bakery or restaurant version.
Trust me when I say that once you’ve tasted this sweet and tangy treat, there will be no going back. You’ll be hooked on the delicious combination of crunchy nuts, buttery phyllo pastry, and warm spices like clove and cinnamon.
So what are you waiting for? Go to your local grocery store or Middle Eastern market and get your hands on some phyllo dough and nuts. Follow our recipe, experiment with different variations and substitutions, and make some mouth-watering baklava rolls or pistachio baklava today!
Remember- with its combination of sweet honey syrup, tangy lemon juice, crunchy nuts, and buttery phyllo pastry- this baklava recipe is truly one-of-a-kind. And once you’ve made it yourself – with all the love and care that goes into handmade goodies – there really is no going back to store-bought versions. Trust me; your taste buds (and your guests) will thank you for taking the time to perfect this classic delicacy!
Best Baklava You Will Ever Eat! Recipe
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon clove
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup pecans, chopped (or walnuts)
- 1 cup raisins
- 3/4 cup coconut
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1 lb phyllo dough (thawed, best if left out overnight)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Mix sugar, water, lemon juice and cloves in a small sauce pan. Cook until it is boiling and becomes transparent. Then, remove it from heat and add vanilla and then set aside. Once it has cooled off, place in the fridge.
- Meanwhile, mix together pecans, raisins, coconut, and remaining 1/4c sugar and mix together. Set aside.
- Melt butter and using a pastry brush, spread a thin layer on the bottom and sides of a 13x9 baking pan.
- Take half of the phyllo dough and press down into pan. Pour 1/2 of melted butter on top and spread out with pastry brush, patting it lightly into the dough.
- Spread out filling over the butter and then cover with remaining phyllo dough. Pour and spread remaining butter on top.
- *Important* Make sure that you cut the dough before cooking, so that the butter will soak through all of the layers. Make 5 slices along the width (to make 6 rows) and 2 slices on the length (3 rows). Then slice them diagonally so you end up with 36 triangles.
- Cover with aluminum foil and cook for 10-12 mins covered. Remove cover and cook for an additional 15-20 mins (depends on if you are using a metal or glass pan, the lesser time is for metal). Once it is really golden, pull it out and pour refridgerated sauce over it. Pop it back into the oven for an extra 3-4mins so that it caramelizes. Let it cool to room temperature at which time you can serve it OR you can put it into the freezer covered with aluminium foil. If you freeze, take it out after 2 or more hours (overnight is fine), reslice and wrap in aluminium foil and refreeze. This will keep for months and be really yummy! Enjoy!