Friday, March 16, 2012


Months ago I bought some fillo dough determined to do something with it.  A couple of days ago I put it in the fridge to thaw, it was time.  I looked up a recipe for baklava online, it's really simple:

2 cups chopped walnuts
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix these dry ingredients together.

1/2 cup melted butter
1 package fillo dough
3/4 cup honey
2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Your going to waste the edges of the dough so don't fuss over them.  Working quickly but gently put a piece of dough in the pan and brush it with butter. Put another piece and butter it and continue till you have 6 sheets. Then spread about 1/2 cup of the nut mixture  on the dough and cover with 6 more buttered layers of pastry. Do another layer of nuts and then 6 more buttered sheets of dough.  In all you will have 4 layers of nuts and 5 layers of 6 sheets of dough, or till you run out. When it's assembled cut the excess fillo off and discard then put the baklava in a 300º oven for an hour and a half.

A bit before the baking is complete put the honey and lemon in a pot and get it hot but not boiling. After 1.5 hours baking take the baklava out of the oven and slice into it so you can spoon the hot honey over all of it. Use all the honey then set the baklava aside to cool. I tried to eat one of those big pieces and it took to people and two dogs to get through it all.  It is delicious but RICH. Cut it from corner to corner and people will still have trouble finishing it. It's cheap to make so it doesn't hurt to waste a little.

My partner says this is too thick.  The same ingredients could go into a 13x9 pan with maybe only two or three nut layers and it would be more manageable. You'd need to start with at least a quarter cup more butter to cover all the dough. So that's an idea if you want to feed a crowd.

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