Baklava is a much-loved dessert in Australia. It is served in many Lebanese, Greek and Turkish restaurants who all claim it as their own.
In this recipe layers of filo pastry are layered with a mixture of crushed cashews, almonds and pistachios, sugar, cinnamon and ground cardamom. The baklava is baked in the oven and then covered with a delicious sweet syrup.
When purchasing the nuts for this recipe make sure that:
- Almonds are blanched and unsalted
- Cashews are unsalted
- Pistachios are unsalted
- Combined 450 grams (1lb) of unsalted cashews, unsalted pistachios and blanched, unsalted almonds
- 2 boxes of store-bought filo (phyllo) pastry (approx 1lb)
- 1 cup of butter, melted
- 1/3 cup of sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/3 tsp of ground cardamom
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1/3 cup of honey
- 1 1/2 Tbsp of lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp orange blossom water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Finely ground or chopped pistachio nuts
- Thaw the filo dough according to packet instructions.
- Lightly grease a 9x13 baking tin and pre-heat the oven to 350F (180C).
- Once the dough has thawed, roll it out and cut the dough in half so the sheets will fit into the pan. lie dough flat on the work bench. Cover with a dry towel and then a damp towel to keep it from drying out.
- Melt the butter on a very low heat in a small saucepan. Set aside.
- Place the nuts in a food processor and process the nuts until they are small, evenly-sized pieces.
- Combine the nuts with sugar, cinnamon, and ground cardamom in a mixing bowl.
- Place a sheet of filo dough into the pan. Use a pastry brush to brush the filo sheet with melted butter. Repeat 7 more times until it is 8 sheets thick -- making sure you brush each sheet with the melted butter.
- Sprinkle on a thin layer of the nut mixture. Cover with 4 more sheets of filo, brushing each one with butter. Continue by sprinkling on another thin layer of nut mixture and 4 buttered sheets of phyllo until the nut mixture runs out.
- The top layer should be 8 filo sheets thick with each sheet being individually buttered.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the baklava into 16 even squares. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the baklava is light golden brown.
- Meanwhile while the baklava is baking, make the syrup by combining the water, sugar, honey, lemon juice, orange blossom water and cinnamon stick in a saucepan. Stir over high heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and lower the heat to medium. Simmer for 7-8 minutes or until the syrup has thickened slightly.
- Remove syrup from heat and allow to cool.
- Once the baklava is ready, remove it from the oven and immediately spoon the cooled syrup evenly over the surface.
- Allow the baklava to stand in the tin for 3-4 hours before serving.
- To store, cover with foil and store at room temperature in the tin for up to 1 week.