Thursday, June 2, 2011

baklava (traditional greek pastry)

While in Athens we visited this awesome bakery and had the most amazing baklava!  It was the best I had ever had so fresh, sweet and nutty... I crave it everyday!!  απολαύσει!!

4 c. walnuts, finely chopped or ground
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. grated lemon rind
1 lb. filo pastry sheets
1 c. butter, melted
Honey syrup

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease an 11 x 17 x 1 1/2 inch pan. Mix ground walnuts with sugar, spices and lemon rind in medium bowl. Cut filo sheets to fit pan. Keep filo sheets moist and flexible by covering with a damp cloth. Brush 12 filo sheets lightly with melted butter and place in bottom of pan. Spread 1 cup of walnut mixture over top sheet. Cover with 4 sheets of filo after brushing each with butter. Then repeat layers.  Make top layer with 8 sheets of filo after brushing each with remaining butter. With small, sharp knife, cut lengthwise through first layer to make strips 1 1/2 inches wide. Then make diagonal cuts 2 inches apart in top layer to form diamonds. Bake on rack above center of oven for 1 hour, until well browned.

Remove from oven and cut through the first cuts, cutting to the bottom of the pan. Spread top with cold honey syrup (use recipe below). Let stand until completely cold before removing from pan.


1 c. honey
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
1 tbsp. lemon juice

Combine honey, sugar and water in small saucepan. Heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Cool thoroughly before using. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

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