My pistachio and orange blossom baklava

I am lucky, there is a Turkish pastry shop in Brussels near the Grand Place, and they ve the BEST pistachio baklava. However I was wondering how hard it is to make your own. Turns out to be very easy.

BAKLAVA – The Greeks invented it way back when but it was adopted all around the middle East, Morocco and Turkey. It is a honey syrup sweetened dessert made from layers of filo (or phyllo) pastry and ground nuts. Traditionally the Greek version is with walnuts and Turkish with pistachios or almonds but you can find a bit of everything everywhere these days. The Moroccan version has orange blossom added to the syrup. So I decided mine will be my favourite flavours: pistachios and orange blossom.

NOTE: I recommend you use a smaller tin ( my tin was 24 cm by 24 cm, 5 cm H), unless you are having a ton of people over or are sharing at the office. As it is very sweet people only eat one diamond portion really.

IMPORTANT: Make sure you make the syrup in advance to let cool to pour over the hot straight out of the oven baklava, otherwise it will be soggy.

 

STEP 1: Make the syrup so it has time to cool down. Add in a sauce pan: water, honey, sugar and orange blossom. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes, stir to dissolve all, simmer a few more minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

STEP 2: Cut the filo sheets to the size of the tin. Brush with melted butter the tin bottom and sides.

You need minimum 22 sheets ( up to 36) depending on the height of the tin. I did 7 – 4 – 4 -7  layers. ( 8 – 5 – 5 – 5 – 8 is more traditional ).

START: Take 1 filo sheet cut to tin size, brush with melted butter, layer on the bottom, repeat to ve 7 layers in total. Add a layer of ground pistachios. take a filo sheet, brush with melted butter, lay on top of ground pistachios buttered face down, butter the top side. Add 3 more layers, 4 layers in total.

REPEAT: Add a layer of ground pistachios. take a filo sheet, brush with melted butter, lay on top of ground pistachios buttered face down, butter the top side. Add 3 more layers, 4 layers in total. REPEAT: Add a layer of ground pistachios. take a filo sheet, brush with melted butter, lay on top of ground pistachios buttered face down, butter the top side.

FINISH: Brushing with melted butter sheets of filo, layer to ve 7 layers in total.

STEP 3: Cut with sharp knife the diamond pattern.

STEP 4: bake for 40 minutes in pre-heated oven at 180 C. When baked golden, remove from oven and pour immediately over the syrup. Dust with a a little ground pistachios. Let stand on the counter for 8 hours before serving, if you can resist that long.

I like to serve it with unsweetened warm mint tea.

My pistachio and orange blossom baklava

Yield 25 portions

Ingredients

  • 22 filo sheets ( shop bought)
  • 250 gr ground pistachios
  • 250 gr sugar
  • 200 ml water
  • 90 gr honey infused with orange blossom
  • 2 table spoon orange blossom water
  • 100 gr melted butter

Instructions

  1. Make the syrup so it has time to cool down. Add in a sauce pan: water, honey, sugar and orange blossom. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes, stir to dissolve all, simmer a few more minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Cut the filo sheets to the size of the tin. Brush with melted butter the tin bottom and sides. You need minimum 22 sheets ( up to 36) depending on the height of the tin. I did 7 - 4 - 4 -7  layers. ( 8 - 5 - 5 - 5 - 8 is more traditional ).

    START: Take 1 filo sheet cut to tin size, brush with melted butter, layer on the bottom, repeat to ve 7 layers in total. Add a layer of ground pistachios. take a filo sheet, brush with melted butter, lay on top of ground pistachios buttered face down, butter the top side. Add 3 more layers, 4 layers in total.

    REPEAT: Add a layer of ground pistachios. take a filo sheet, brush with melted butter, lay on top of ground pistachios buttered face down, butter the top side. Add 3 more layers, 4 layers in total. REPEAT: Add a layer of ground pistachios. take a filo sheet, brush with melted butter, lay on top of ground pistachios buttered face down, butter the top side.

    FINISH: Brushing with melted butter sheets of filo, layer to ve 7 layers in total.

  3. Cut with sharp knife the diamond pattern.

  4. Bake for 40 minutes in pre-heated oven at 180 C. When baked golden, remove from oven and pour immediately over the syrup. Let stand on the counter for 8 hours before serving, if you can resists that long. Serve with a dusting of ground pistachio and unsweetened mint tea.

Notes

on www.leeksandhighheels.com by Sandra Slawinski


not paid to post, used my stuff: metal tin from M&S, dishtowel from Daylesford farmshop in Chelsea, London-UK, metal straw and bowl from Dille & Kamille, glass jar from Hema, Saucepan from Williams Sonoma, Le Creuset trivet. 

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