Baklava is so decadent and heavenly. Nutty, sweet, gooey, crunchy all at the same time.
Homemade baklava is so much better than store bought in my book. You have so many choices in the ingredients you can put in the baklava. You can use your favorite nut, I have used walnuts, almonds and Brazil nuts. The type of honey, type of cinnamon or other spices.
You will need:
9×13 baking pan
1 package of frozen filo dough-defrost in refrigerator 2 days before making baklava
1 lb. of nuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, almonds, or pretty much any other nut you would like to use.(chopped finely)
1 cup melted butter give or take- have extra butter on hand if needed
1 Tbsp of cinnamon, and any other spices you might want to add. (I will also use fresh nutmeg, powdered clove, you can also use pumpkin pie spice)
Honey syrup- recipe follows
1 cup honey
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup water
2 cinnamon sticks or 1 tsp of cinnamon
Bring to boil ,lower temperature and simmer for 15 min. Stir during cooking process. After the 15 minutes turn off heat and let cool.
To put together the baklava:
Brush bottom of 9 x 13 pan with some of the melted butter. Add layer of filo, brush with butter, add layer of filo, brush with butter, do this 4 more times. Add layer of chopped nuts and cinnamon. Add 5-6 more layers of the filo brushed with the melted butter.
When you have used all the nuts and cinnamon- add 7-8 layers of the butter filo to finish off the top.
Put pan into freezer for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Pull pan from freezer, get a very sharp knife and cut long diagonal cuts through the dough. When you have completed the cuts it will look like a pan of diamonds.
Bake for about 1 hour- it will look nice a golden color.
Take out of oven. Pour syrup gently over the top of the baklava. I normally pour about half and wait 5-10 minutes and then pour the remaining syrup over the top.
Make sure filo is completely thawed.
Keep filo covered with damp towel while working with it.
Either precut filo to fit the pan or just fold the filo to fit. ( this is what I do- just adds additional layers of buttery filo.)
Freezing pan after layering will help to firm up the layers before you cut them- this is not required.
Let sit for several hours for syrup to soak it completing and baklava is cooled.
Some people leave baklava out for several days, I however, will usually store covered in the refrigerator.