Baklava

Baklava Recipe

Baklava, or paklava, is one of those few dishes, like pizza or ice cream, that has become “owned” by the whole world. When I was young, my grandmother Victoria Jenanyan would begin cooking for family early in the morning, making the dough and rolling it out on the dining room table with a broomstick handle into transparent sheets of fillo for the baklava. It was an awesome sight to see her well-toned arms and deft hands, so in rhythm with the rolling, turning out the most tender fillo sheets imaginable. These days, I bow to her as I purchase ready-made fillo and carry on the tradition of making baklava at home.–Victoria Jenanyan Wise

Baklava Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 1 H, 45 M
  • Makes sixteen to eighteen 1 1/2-inch pieces

Ingredients

  • For the syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • For the filling
  • 2 cups walnuts, finely chopped but not pulverized
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 pound phyllo dough

Directions

  • Make the syrup
  • 1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer briskly until thickened and reduced, about 12 minutes. Set aside at room temperature until ready to use. (The syrup should be at room temperature and still pourable when ready to use; if cooled too much, reheat slightly.)
  • Make the filling
  • 2. In a bowl, mix together the walnuts, cinnamon, and sugar. Set aside.
  • Make the baklava
  • 3. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Brush the bottom and sides of a 9-x-13-inch deep baking dish with some of the butter.
  • 4. Place a layer of phyllo in the bottom of the dish, cover with another layer, and brush the top with butter. Add another layer (2 sheets), brushing the top with butter, and then another layer, brushing the top with butter, until you have a stack 6 sheets high. Spread one-third of the filling evenly over the fillo.
  • 5. Layer and butter another 6 sheets in the same way. Spread another third of the filling over it. Layer and butter another 6 sheets in the same way and spread with the final third of the filling, so that you wind up with three nut layers.
  • 6. Top the final nut layer with the remaining 6 fillo sheets, buttering every other one as above. Finally, brush the top layer of fillo with butter.
  • 7. With a sharp knife, cut through all the layers down to the bottom of the dish, making 16 to 18 diamond or 1 1/2-inch square sections. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Pour the remaining butter across the top and continue baking until pale golden and crispy, about 25 minutes.
  • 8. Remove and set aside for 5 minutes, until no longer sizzling. While still warm, tilt the pan and pour off the excess butter. Pour the syrup in between the cuts and around the edges of the sections, taking care to avoid the top or else it will get soggy. Set aside at room temperature until completely cool.
  • 9. To serve, lift out the pieces as outlined. Serve right away or cover and store at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Susan Hillery

Apr 24, 2004

Having been spoiled and awed by countless Turkish friends’ excellent baklava, I never thought that I would attempt it myself. This recipe was so easy and such a gratifying experience, and the baklava was great! Textures of crunchy and chewy are mellowed by a thick, sweet syrup that only got better as it aged.

Testers Choice
Virginia Hildreth

Apr 24, 2004

I really enjoyed this recipe. It took a day for the flavors to meld to make it taste of authentic baklava. It was extremely easy and sinfully tasty.


Have something to say?

Then tell us. Have a picture you'd like to add to your comment? Send it along. Covet one of those spiffy pictures of yourself to go along with your comment? Get a free Gravatar. And as always, please take a gander at our comment policy before posting.

*

Daily Subscription

Enter your email address and get all of our updates sent to your inbox the moment they're posted. Be the first on your block to be in the know.

Preview daily e-mail

Weekly Subscription

Hate tons of emails? Do you prefer info delivered in a neat, easy-to-digest (pun intended) form? Then enter your email address for our weekly newsletter.

Preview weekly e-mail