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Baklava has many traditions and variations. This Turkish Baklava is definitely a delight. If you want to see another version, try Lena’s traditional Arabic baklava, which uses less syrup and more nuts than the Greek, Turkish, and Persian versions.
Baklava is one of those foods that is made in so many local variations in so many different countries, that it’s difficult to trace its true origin. The word “baklava” itself is a Turkish word used to describe a diamond or rhombus-shaped object and indeed the most commonly believed origin of this delicious dessert is in fact Turkish. That being said, baklava can be found in various wonderful forms in the entire former Ottoman Empire region as well as central and southwest Asia.
Baklava is a rich and sweet delight and while there are endless ways to prepare it, our recipe features layer upon layer of flaky phyllo dough filled with chopped pistachio spiced with cinnamon and sweetened with syrup. Although it’s slightly labor intensive, it’s well worth it. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
- 1 lb box of phyllo dough, defrosted
- 1 cup of butter (or 2 sticks), melted
- 1 cup of pistachios, unsalted
- 1/3 cup of heavy cream
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 tbsp of lemon juice
In a food processor, pulse the pistachios until they are small pebble sized. You can also do this in a plastic ziplock bag and smash them with a mallet. Mix in the tablespoon of cinnamon.
Cut the sheets of phyllo dough in half, if not cut in half already. They should be cut so they fit perfectly in a baking dish. I’ve used a 3 liter Pyrex dish here but you can use whatever you have. Brush the bottom and sides of your pan with some melted butter and lay two sheets of phyllo dough in. Brush this layer and continue to butter and layer 2 sheets at time. When you’ve used up half the dough, brush the top most layer with more butter and pour the cream over the layer. Sprinkle the pistachio mixture in an even layer. Continue to layer the phyllo two sheets at a time, brushing butter between them. Don’t forget to brush the last layer with butter. Using a really sharp knife cut into squares, but be careful to cut only to the pistachio layer and not all the way down to the bottom of the dish.
Place the pan on the middle rack in a preheated 375 oven. Bake for about 25 minutes and lower the heat to 325. Bake for another 25 minutes. Take it out and leave it at room temperature for 10 minutes.
While the baklava is baking, boil water, sugar and lemon together until syrupy. After the baklava has cooled pour the syrup in the cuts. I don’t prefer wet baklava so this helps to keep the top layer nice and crunchy.
Resist the temptation and let the baklava soak for at least 4 hours with a large sheet of foil tented over it. This will allow the syrup to soak into the baklava.
And there you have it! Enjoy!
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Sites That Link to this Post
- Baklava Recipe: Our Guest Post at Zomppa | January 20, 2011
- Tweets that mention Guest/Turkish Baklava | Zomppa - International Food Magazine -- Topsy.com | January 21, 2011