My Nostalgic Baklava


1/2 package of shredded fillo dough, thawed
1/2 cup olive oil (or same amount of melted unsalted butter)
Ingredients for filling:
2 cups walnuts, chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons simple sugar syrup
For soaking:
Ingredients for simle sugar syrup:
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon juice


Let us start with simple sugar syrup because it has to be completely cooled before using.
Directions for simple sugar syrup:
Into a pot, put water and sugar. Stir to combine and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once it starts boiling, add lemon juice. Let the sugar water boil for 7 - 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in orange blossom water, and set aside to cool down.
Directions for dough:
Mix the shredded fillo dough with olive oil. Make sure all the dough is covered with oil. Let it rest for 5 minutes so the dough absorbs the oil.
Directions for filling:
In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients and set aside.
Press ½ of the dough into a 9 inch round baking pan, arrange walnuts over the dough. Make sure to leave about ½ of an inch of a birder without filling. Arrange the other half of the dough over the filling and press down firmly. (I use a glass with flat bottom for help.) Put a plastic wrap over the top, then a flat plate, and something heavy on the top: a brick wrapped in aluminum foil or just a pot filled with water. Let the baklava stand pressed for 30 minutes.
Bake in 350 preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the top becomes golden brown.
Immediately after you pull baklava from the oven, pour over cold simple sugar syrup. Let is soak for 5 minutes in a hot oven (just put it back to the oven, but make sure the oven is turned off).
Take the baking pan out of the oven, loosen the edge, and flip the baklava onto a serving plate. Cut the baklava into eight slices. My pizza cutter always does a wonderful job!


I was first introduced to baklava when I was very little. In my hometown, Ilirska Bistrica, Slovenia, we had just one pastry shop back then. This shop was owned by a Macedonian man. He came to my hometown after the second world war ended and my home town became his hometown, too. He was a very respected hardworking man. In his shop you could buy the best ice-cream ever! My favorite flavor was lemon. And in the winter he would make the winter ice-cream (marshmallow cream) topped with thin coating of chocolate swirled into an ice-cream cone. Unforgettable! There was a wide variety of pastries in his shop and among them baklava. Though the best piece of baklava I ever ate was in Istanbul, Turkey! As for the sweets made with both kinds of fillo dough, in my book, Syria wins the first place! And here it is, my nostalgic baklava!


1 servings


Saturday, January 29, 2011 - 4:28pm


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