District Catering now offers dinner delivery on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The menu changes each time but there is always a starter, an entrée and a dessert. A couple weeks ago we decided to go with a Turkish theme. And what better dessert for that than baklava? I have only had baklava a handful of times in my life and I certainly had never made it before, or used phyllo for that matter. But, I must say this baklava was a success and phyllo, not that hard to work with. It can be intimidating I suppose, considering that each sheet is thin enough to look through and can easily become very brittle and difficult to work with. By keeping a damp cloth covering the phyllo at all times and working fast you can avoid all problems. For this baklava I decided to do a combination of walnuts and pistachios and I loved the flavors of both together. As you can see from the picture the recipe does make a lot – but luckily baklava freezes well so if you don’t eat it all now, you can have it weeks down the road too. This is a very sweet dessert, so a small piece goes a long way, but it’s definitely delicious and worth trying.
Recipe Adapted from First Look Then Cook
Start to Finish: 60-70 minutes
1 16 ounce package phyllo
3/4 cup plus 8 tablespoons sugar (divided)
3/4 cup honey
1 cup water
2 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (divided)
6 oz walnuts
6 oz pistachios
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Process nuts and 2 tablespoons sugar in food processor. The largest pieces should be the size of small peas. In a bowl add 6 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon to the processed nut mixture.
2. Brush bottom and sides of a 13x9x2 inch baking dish with melted butter. Fold a phyllo sheet in half and place on the bottom of the baking dish. Brush with the melted butter. Add 5 more phyllo sheets (each one folded in half), brushing with melted butter after each one.
3. Sprinkle half of the nut mixture oven the phyllo sheet. Place 7 more phyllo sheets (each one folded in half) over the nut mixture, brushing with melted butter after each one. Add the remaining nut mixture, sprinkled evenly. Add remaining phyllo sheets, brushing with melted butter after each one.
4. Using a very sharp knife cut the baklava. Make one cut from the top left to the bottom right corner and make parallel cuts at 1 inch increments. Turn the baking dish and make cuts every 2 1/4 inches – this will form a diamond pattern.
5. Bake until lightly browned 45-55 minutes. While baking simmer 3/4 sugar, 3/4 cup honey, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 cup water over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Boil the mixture over medium heat until is has reduced to 1 1/2-2 cups, about 15 minutes.
6. Pour syrup evenly over the baklava and re-cut the baklava.