I am officially on Winter Break! Woohoo! I generally enjoy finals week since it’s a change of pace from the rest of the semester, but this time I had a pretty rough finals schedule: 3 finals on the very last day so I had a LOT of grading to do on Thursday. Luckily I’m all done now and have 2 weeks of sweet vacation to enjoy! 🙂
Since I’m at home with my parents, my mom and I decided to make Baklava. She usually makes it around Christmastime as a holiday treat and thankfully she waited until I came home so we could make it together!
Now I may be a little biased, but this is THE BEST baklava. Ever. And it doesn’t get more traditional than this. It’s delicious! If you want a traditional Greek baklava, this is the recipe for you to try.
So here is my mom’s recipe for The Best Baklava Ever.
Start by preheating your oven to 375. Begin the nut mixture. Take 1 pound of walnuts and put them in a plastic bag and pound on them with a meat tenderizer until they are somewhat crushed/chopped. You don’t want any giant pieces in the baklava, but they don’t have to be very fine either. Alternatively, if you have a grinder you could use that to grind them as well (medium ground).
Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon ground cloves to the nuts and mix well. Set the nut mixture aside.
Take 4 sticks of unsalted butter, and melt them in a sauce pan.
Prepare your 10×15 inch baking pan by brushing the bottom with melted butter.
Next get your baklava station set up. You should have the buttered pan, nuts, melted butter with a brush, and a clean surface for the fillo dough set up.
Take 1 box fillo dough. Take 6 sheets out of the roll, then cover the rest with a squeezed-out wet towel so they don’t dry out.
Line the bottom of your pan with 1 fillo sheet. Brush the sheet with butter.
Repeat until 6 fillo sheets line the bottom of the pan. Brush the top with butter.
Then, sprinkle with 3/4 cup nut mixture.
Prepare 9 more fillo sheets. Cover pan with 1 fillo sheet. Brush the top of the sheet with butter.
Repeat until 3 sheets cover the nut mixture. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup nut mixture. Repeat 3 sheets/nut mixture process 2 more times, using all the nut mixture.
Place remaining fillo sheets on top (should be about 5-6 sheets), alternating with butter. Brush top with butter. Be liberal with the butter!
Next, trim the sides of the baklava with a sharp knife or razor blade. My mom always uses a razor blade.
Then, use the razor blade to cut the baklava into 2 inch diamond pieces. Don’t cut through the whole baklava – only cut through the top layer so it cuts neatly later.
Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. While the baklava is baking, start on the syrup.
Combine 3 cups granulated sugar, 3 cups water, 1 slice lemon, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 whole cloves, and 2 tablespoons honey in a sauce pan and bring to a slow boil. Let the syrup boil slowly until medium thick. Cool.
Pour cooled syrup over warm baklava. Cool completely before cutting.
The Best Baklava Ever
1 lb. walnuts, chopped or medium ground
1 lb. fillo dough (1 box)
1 lb. unsalted butter (4 sticks)
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 cups granulated sugar
3 cups water
1 slice lemon
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
2 Tbsp. honey
- Preheat oven to 375. Place walnuts in plastic bag, then pound with meat tenderizer until medium-crushed. Add sugar, cinnamon, and cloves to the nuts. Mix, then set aside.
- Melt butter in sauce pan. Brush the bottom of a 10×15 in. baking pan with melted butter. Prepare fillo dough: have 6 sheets ready and cover the rest with a squeezed-out wet towel. Line the bottom of the pan with 1 fillo sheet, then brush with butter. Repeat until 6 pastry sheets line the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup nut mixture. Cover with fillo sheet, then brush with butter. Repeat 2 more times, then sprinkle with 3/4 cup nut mixture. Repeat this process 2 more times, using all the nut mixture. Place remaining fillo sheets on top (should be 5-6), alternating with butter. Brush the top with butter. Trim the edges of the fillo, then use a sharp knife or razor blade to cut the top layer of the baklava into 2 inch diamond pieces. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
- While baklava is baking, make the syrup. Combine sugar, water, lemon, cinnamon, cloves, and honey in a sauce pan and bring to a slow boil. Let the syrup boil until medium thick. Cool.
- Pour cooled syrup over warm baklava. Let cool completely before cutting.
Reblogged this on Jane Doe (at-your-service).