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Baklava

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Source: Saveur Magazine
Yield: 1 Cake Pan
Serving Size: 1
Servings: 36

Modified from Crispy Sweet, by Diana Abu-Jaber, Saveur Magazine, No. 54. This 50 year old recipe was handed down by the author's father, Ghassan Saleh Abu-Jaber.

I have made a few modifications to the original recipe and have gotten raves from Greeks, Assyrians and many others. This recipe is not that difficult, but it takes a long time: 1-2 hours preparation and 45 minutes baking.

People like this version of Baklava because of the use of citrus, which gives it more character, and the finely ground walnuts, which gives it a different texture. I also removed some sugar so even people who think regular Baklava is too sweet really enjoy it.
   
Ingredients

Baklava
Ingredient Amount Calories Fat (g) Carbs (g) Prot (g)
Butter, Unsalted
3 Stick 2445 276.3 0.3 3
Walnuts, Chopped
1 Pound 1520 152.6 32 35.6
Sugar, granulated
0.75 Cup 660 0 170.4 0
Phyllo Dough
1 Pound 1260 10.5 280 42
Glaze
Ingredient Amount Calories Fat (g) Carbs (g) Prot (g)
Sugar, granulated
1.5 Cup 1320 0 340.8 0
Orange, medium
1 Zested and Juiced 62 0.1 15.5 1.2
Lemon
1 Zested and Juiced 24 0.3 0 0
Total: 7291 439.8 839 81.8
Per Serving: 203 12.2 23.3 2.3
 
Instructions

    click for a larger image
1. Put walnuts and 3/4 cup of the sugar into a food processor and process until finely ground. If you don't have a food processor, you can buy chopped or crushed walnuts or chop/crush them yourself. Set aside.  

2. Melt butter in microwave (1-3 minutes). Skim off foam and remove bottom water layer.  

3. Unwrap and unroll phyllo and cover with plastic wrap. Cover plastic wrap with a clean damp towel so it doesn't dry out.  

4. Using a pastry brush, butter a large baking dish or roasting pan and line with parchment paper. A 11"x15" dish will work but some phyllo dough comes in larger sheets and may need to be folded in the pan. Butter the parchment paper as well.  

5. Carefully uncover the phyllo dough and remove one layer, keeping the rest covered. Lay the sheet flat in baking dish so it sticks to the butter. If the phyllo is bigger than the pan, fold over the extra.  

6. Next, butter the phyllo dough, then get another layer of phyllo and lay it on the butter, pressing down to make sure it is sticks. Repeat until you have 12-16 layers (about 1/3 of the dough).  

7. We're going to take a quick break from the dough and add a layer of nuts. While you're at it, go ahead and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Also check your butter. If it's cooling and getting thick, warm it up in the microwave for 30-60 seconds.

Spread half of the walnut filling evenly over the phyllo. Pat it down with your hands then start adding layers of dough again. The first couple sheets are tricky b/c they don't stick to the nuts. Butter the top side and then continue adding more layers of phyllo as before.
 

8. Continue adding layers of dough again until you have another 10-14 layers (I like to make the middle layer a little thinner). Spread the rest of the walnuts, then continue adding more layers until you are done.

Get a knife and cut the baklava before baking. I think that traditionally, baklava is cut diagonally, but you can cut it into squares if you prefer. I cut on the diagonal at about 2" intervals. You may need to hold the dough down with your fingers as you cut.
 

9. Put the baklava into the middle rack of your oven and bake at 350 until golden brown, about 40-45 minutes. Watch it at the end, you don't want the nuts around the edges to burn.  

10. About 15 minutes before the baking is done, prepare the glaze. Put 1-3/4 cups of sugar and 1 cup water into a medium saucepan over medium heat and stir periodically until sugar dissolves.  

11. While the glaze is heating up, juice and zest the lemon and orange. When the glaze starts to boil, add the lemon juice, orange juice and zest. Lower heat.  

12. When the baklava is done, it should have a nice golden brown crispy top. Remove from oven and pour hot glaze over entire surface. It will boil and sizzle and may splash so be careful. Let cool to room temperature.  

13. Before serving. recut the pieces, making sure to cut all the way to the bottom so they can be taken out more easily.  




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