I remember making this recipe with my dad when I was barely old enough to walk and talk. He created this simple recipe after moving to the United States, feeling deprived of his one true love: baklava. While it’s not the traditional rendition, it is one that is easier, (a little bit) healthier, and tastier in my opinion. He’s made it around 500 times, and now it’s your turn to try it.
*This may look like a lot of instructions, but it’s really not; I’m just very thorough.
**Sorry that I waited until Sunday to do the blog, Mr. Lindner; I just wanted the baklava to be fresh when you try it.
- One roll of fillo dough
- One stick of butter
- about 1/2 cups of sugar
- about a teaspoon of cinnamon
- about 2 cups of unchopped pecans (or your favorite nut)
- about 1/4 cups of honey
- One metal 13×9 in pan (or something similar to that)
- One pastry brush
- One serrated knife
- One bowl to melt butter in (or anything you can use for that)
- One blender to chop nuts (or anything you have that can work)
3. Preheat the Oven to 350 degrees
4. Roll the fillo dough out
It should look something similar to this when it comes out of the package. Take the rapper off and gently unroll the fillo so it can come to room temperature for easy handling. Fun fact: fillo literally means “leaf” in Greek, and this dough is given that name because it’s so thin.
5. Melt the butter
6. Chop the nuts
Take about 3 handfuls of the nuts and pulse them in your blender to chop them. You could do this by hand if you had to.
You don’t want them to be a powder necessarily, but pretty small pieces is good. It’s also okay if there’s some big pieces mixed in. The size is pretty much up to you.
7) The nut mixture
This part is really to taste. You want to add the sugar and cinnamon to the chopped nuts. I added about 4 tablespoons of sugar and about a teaspoon of cinnamon, but you can change that ratio to whatever suits you.
8) Assembling the baklava
Now that you have your butter melted, your nuts chopped and flavored, and your fillo rolled out and warmed to room temperature, you’re ready for the assembly of your masterpiece.
Make sure your pan is greased with some of the melted butter so nothing sticks.
Dip your brush in the butter and gently brush your fillo dough. It’s easy to rip so try your best to keep it intact.
Lift the buttered fillo sheet (yes, just one sheet at a time) and layer it into your pan. It’s going to take some practice to not break it, but it’s really okay if you do.
Repeat the buttering and layering with half the sheets of fillo dough. Use your brush to tuck down the edges. It should look something like this:
Pour all of you nut mixture onto this.
Spread it evenly across the layer.
Butter and layer your fillo dough layers on top of this like you did earlier and tuck the edges.
Use a serrated knife to score the dough when you’re done layering so it will be easier to cut later. Pour any extra butter on top.
9. Baking the baklava
Bake the baklava in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until it’s golden brown on top.
Isn’t that beautiful?
10. It’s almost done!
Use your serrated knife to cut through the pieces and pour honey on top to your liking!