Baklava Recipe - Mediterranean dessert


This is one of the easiest dessert you can make for a crowd. Baklava is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of filo pastry filled with chopped nuts of your choice and soaked with a honey lemon glaze.


Makes one 9x13 inch tray - about 30 pieces
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. phyllo pastry at room temperature 
  • 1 cup/2 sticks butter, melted
  • 3 cups almond, pecans, walnuts or any nuts you like (first measured, then fine chopped)
For the syrup
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar (optional)
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Directions 
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degree F. 
  2. Pulse the nuts to a crumbly texture. Set aside. Melt the butter and set aside. 
  3. Brush bottom of a 9×13 pan with butter. Layer phyllo then butter so that you have 8 to 12 sheets/layers.
  4. Sprinkle the crumbly nut mixture over the phyllo in the pan. Pile on another 8-10 layers of filo and butter. Cut the baklava into desired shapes. 
  5. Finish with butter on top. Bake for 30 minutes in the middle rack, until they are golden brown.
  6. Meanwhile, mix hot water, honey and lemon juice, set aside. 
  7. When baklava is golden and crisp, remove it from the oven and let it cool down a bit to warm. Pour the syrup over the warm pan. Let it soak for an hour. Enjoy!



Variations:

Baklava rolls
  1. You can also make a variation of baklava rolls, buttering two sheets together, pouring a tablespoon of nut mixture at one end, rolling it and buttering while rolling it to the other edge. 
  2. Then gently place the rolls in a tray one next to the other, closely together. Cut and butter one final time before it is baked to a golden brown for about 20-25 minutes.