I have always loved Baklava and my trip to Santorini earlier in the year reignited my love for it. It's not really a dessert that's readily available in the UK, it's something I've only found in Waitrose, specialist shops and Greek restaurants, so I decided I'd try making it myself. This recipe is super easy and great if you have to cater for a number of people. It is also a great dessert if you need to make one in advance as the longer you leave it to soak up the syrup, the stickier and better it tastes.
(makes approx. 24 squares)
400g Nuts, chopped (you can use any kind but I used a mixture of walnuts and almonds)
3 tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
150g Butter, melted
18 Sheets of Filo Pastry
For the syrup:
2 Cinnamon Sticks
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
5 tbsp Honey
1. Grease a 35x25cm baking tray (try and use one that is about the same size as your pastry so they fit nicely and you don't have to trim them down) and pre-heat oven to 180°c.
2. Mix the nuts, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
3. Take a sheet of filo pastry and lay it in the bottom of the tray, brush with the melted butter and repeat until you have 5 layers.
4. Sprinkle half the nut mixture over the pastry and place 3 more sheets of pastry over the top, brushing each layer with the melted butter.
5. Sprinkle the the other half of the nut mixture on top and layer the rest of the filo sheets on top, brushing with melted butter in between each layer.
6. Once you have brushed the last layer with butter use a sharp knife to cut squares into the top few layers of pastry (this will make them easier to cut once they are baked) and sprinkle a little water over the top with your fingers to stop the pastry from curling.
7. Bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes until it is golden and crisp.
8. Whilst the baklava is baking heat the water, sugar, cinnamon sticks and lemon juice in a small pan and boil for 5 minutes. Add the honey and simmer for 5 more minutes until the syrup has thickened slightly. Remove cinnamon sticks.
9. When it is ready remove the baklava from the oven and whilst it is still hot pour the syrup over the top and the slice through the squares to the bottom of the tray.
10. Leave to cool completely in the tray and soak up the syrup.
This baklava is great as a sweet treat on it's own or as a dessert with a scoop of ice cream, however you eat it I'm sure you'll love it.