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Vegan Baklava

Baklava is a perfect candidate for veganization. The classic pastry is usually made with butter and a copious amount of syrup made with white sugar and honey. This version is lighter and less syrupy sweet, creating a more healthful, nutty dessert that everyone can feel good about enjoying.–Robin Asbell

LC Confession Note

Okay. We have a confession. This baklava recipe is not traditional. Not at all. Also, as stated above, it’s vegan. And it’s super swell with three nuts instead of one and agave syrup in place of honey. Although you can make amendments as you see fit, using sugar in place of Sucanat, swapping butter for olive oil, and relying on honey and not agave syrup. Any way you make it, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Vegan Baklava Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 2 H, 30 M
  • Makes 36 pieces

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar or Sucanat
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios
  • 3/4 cup raw almonds
  • 12 sheets phyllo dough, thawed overnight in the refrigerator
  • 1/2 cup light olive oil or melted coconut oil, plus more for the pan
  • 1 cup agave syrup (or, for a non-vegan version, honey)
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • Zest from 1 large lemon, preferably organic, removed in 1 long strip

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Oil a 13-by-9-inch baking pan.
  • 2. In a blender, blitz the brown sugar or Sucanat and cinnamon until powdery. Transfer to a small bowl.
  • 3. In the blender or a food processor, pulse the walnuts until mostly finely chopped but still a bit chunky. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in 1/3 of the sugar mixture. Do the same for the pistachios and the almonds, dumping each mixture into a separate bowl.
  • 4. Cover the phyllo sheets with a large piece plastic wrap, then cover that with a towel that’s just barely damp. Remove 1 sheet and place it on a clean work surface. Brush half the surface with olive or coconut oil. Fold the sheet in half and place it in the prepared pan, then brush the top with oil. Repeat with 2 more sheets. Scatter the walnuts over the phyllo in an even layer. Repeat the layering with 3 more sheets phyllo, the pistachios, 3 more sheets phyllo, and the almonds. Layer the last 3 sheets phyllo on top.
  • 5. Using a sharp paring knife, score the top layer of phyllo sheets across the short side of the pan to form 6 strips. Next, score the phyllo diagonally from corner to corner, and then score parallel to that line 2 times on each side. (Or if that just completely confused you, just cut it into squares or triangles however you wish.) Bake for 40 minutes, until the phyllo is lightly golden and crisp.
  • 6. In a small saucepan, combine the agave syrup, water, and lemon zest. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Let cool slightly, then remove and discard the zest.
  • 7. Pour the syrup over the pastry. Cover the baklava and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Stored in the refrigerator, tightly covered, the baklava will keep for about 2 weeks.
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