One of my Mom’s favourite sweets is baklava. She refers to it as “that Turkish sweet” (hopefully I haven’t offended the Greeks reading this). I like my baklavas to be slightly crispy on the outside as opposed to being soggy and drenched in syrup. Unfortunately, the ones we buy at the shops are often quite soggy so I like making it fresh. It’s also cheaper as the shops charge $10 for 3 small baklava fingers.
Prep time 1 hour
Cook time 20 mins
300g walnuts, chopped finely
1 egg white
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 lemon zest
120g butter, melted
275g phyllo dough
5g pistachio, crushed
Preheat the oven to 180C.
First, prepare the syrup to give it time to cool before you pour it on to the freshly baked (hot) baklava. Mix the water and sugar and heat the water until the sugar is dissolved but has not started to caramelise. Then stir in the lemon zest and honey and set aside to cool.
Prepare the filling by mixing together the walnuts, egg white and cinnamon in a bowl. You can add sugar to this but I find that the syrup is sweet enough. The egg white helps to keep the filling together – a trick from HowToExpo.
Lay out a sheet of phyllo dough and brush with the butter. Repeat for another 4 sheets (to have 5 in total) brushing each sheet with butter. Spoon the walnut mixture to one side of the phyllo dough and roll into a long finger shape. Repeat until all the filling is used up.
Place the rolled baklava fingers on to a baking tray and pour the rest of the butter on to the fingers, if any is left. Depending on how long your baklava rolls are, cut them into 3-4 pieces per roll to make baklava fingers. Bake for about 20 minutes or until it turns golden brown.
Once the baklava is ready and is still hot, pour the cool syrup on top (listening to the crackle is my favourite part!) and top with a little bit of crushed pistachio.
Let it sit in the syrup for a few hours before serving so that it absorbs the syrup. I find my favourite crunchiness to syrup balance is after 12 hours but before 36 hours.