Once upon a time I was in Florence, Italy and I took a Mediterranean cooking class and I learned how to make baklava and it was a perfect dream. But it was real life. And now I can make real baklava in Kansas City and it’s really good and really real. Don’t let the filo dough scare you away — you can make baklava your reality too! Cheers to the sunshine, authentic recipes, mediterranean dreams, and to you. Enjoy, friends! XX
– filo dough (one frozen package)
– 1 C melted butter
– 1 C walnuts, finely chopped
– 1 1/2 C + 2 T sugar
1 1/2 C water
– 1t cinnamon, ground coriander, cardamom
– 1 T fresh lemon juice
– 2 T rose water (or orange blossom water) ** you can find this at the asian or mediterranean market or at a specialty store **
how – to :
– unwrap the filo dough carefully. it’s fragile, like tissue paper. it comes in a rolled stack. unroll the stack and place it in between to damp kitchen towels. it’s important to keep the dough moist — if it dries out it will crack very easily making it more difficult to handle.
– prepare the syrup by mixing the water, lemon juice, and 1 1/2 C sugar in a small sauce pan. bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. remove from the heat, add the flower water and set aside to cool
– in a small bowl mix the remaining sugar with the spices and chopped walnuts.
– grease a baking pan with a small amount of the melted butter. you can use whatever size/shape pan you want. the smaller the pan the taller the baklava :) my pan was about 8x10in
– carefully lay out two layers of filo in the bottom of the greased pan. drizzle a small amount of melted butter and lay another two layers in the pan. drizzle butter and another 2 layers. repeat until you have 6-8 layers. do not press down the layers. if some of the sheets rip — it’s okay — they still taste the same! use them anyway! no one will see the ripped sheet in the middle of your delicious baklava :)
– sprinkle half of the walnut mixture and layer another 6-8 sheets of filo with butter every two layers.
– spread the remaining walnut mixture and layer the rest of the filo sheets with butter every two layers
– cover the top layer with the remaining butter. carefully cut the baklava into diamond shaped pieces
– allow the baklava to cool slightly, then pour the syrup along the cracks
– allow the baklava to cool completely (if you can wait) and enjoy!