Guest/Turkish Baklava

| January 20, 2011

Welcome to our Guest Contributors, Karen and Valerie, of Globetrotter Diaries! These two best friends, intrepid travelers, and wonderful cooks dazzle readers every week with a culinary celebration of a different place around the world. Their photos will make you drool and their stories will inspire you learn more. Thanks, Globetrotter Diaries, we hope to see you here more often!

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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Category: Dessert, Europe, Featured Articles: Travel & Culture, Middle East, Recipe Vault, Travel & Culture

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Comments (23)

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  1. Patty says:

    Wow! Welcome Globetrotter Diaries! What a treat to have you visiting us at Zomppa! Your recipe is lovely and your photographs make me want to jump through the computer screen and swim in Baklava syrup! Delish! I cannot get over how simple the ingredients list is and how straight forward the instructions are…now if only I could get myself together to make this! Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. Dana says:

    I don’t care which country it comes from… I love any type of baklava! Sounds absolutely mouthwatering!

  3. I love baklava, even made it once for a party. Yours looks absolutely delicious!

    -Brenda

  4. Belinda says:

    Ladies, this is ridiculous. How can you write this, post these amazing photos, and then leave me hanging with none to eat? =) So wonderful to have you.

  5. baklava…the greatest thing ever!
    Globetrotter Diaries and Zomppa ladies…fantastic guest post!

  6. I can hear a box of phyllo in my freezer calling out my name! Will try and make this soon :)

  7. Hazeleva says:

    I would love to try making this recipe but I don’t know how much butter to use. I do own an American measuring cup which is OK for liquids, sugar, flour etc but is of no help for butter. What is the corresponding wight in ounces/grams for sticks of butter?

  8. Belinda says:

    Good question! 1 stick of butter=8 TB=4 ounces…hope this helps! Enjoy eating!!

  9. Tanvi says:

    Sometimes I go to middle eastern restaurants to eat baklava only..totally sensational recipe.Thanks to all three of you ladies for sharing this.

  10. Justforlicks says:

    Your baklava looks delicious. I’m with you – I don’t like wet baklava either and yours looks perfectly flakey.

  11. Thanks ladies, it was a pleasure! I too wish you were here to eat it, b/c I had WAY too many. And I hope everyone else gets to making baklava soon :)

  12. I absolutely love baklava, thanks so much for this authentic recipe!

  13. rebecca says:

    love globetrotter diaries and so want some baklava now!

  14. Lama says:

    Lovely photos and yummy baklava but I have to mention one thing: Turkish baklava never has cinnamon or heavy cream.
    Making baklava is super simple with phyllo dough. hand-made one is definitely more tasty but soo much work!

  15. Re comments: I’ve always wondered how much a ‘stick of butter’ is, so thanks for that! :)
    Neither of us has a sweet tooth but as we get older, baklava has gone from being, ‘just no!’ to ‘maybe just a little bit,’ and it’s actually quite edible. Never realised how simple it is to make. Might have to try it to impress friends!
    Julia

  16. pup says:

    This looks amazing and the photos are beautiful!!

  17. zerrin says:

    Baklava is the most irresistible treat in our country, Turkey. And this one looks so Turkish! Perfect!

  18. F. Rahman Khan says:

    I love BAKLAVA and would like to invite any interested person / organisation to join us and setup a BAKLAVA factory her at Dhaka Capital city of Bangladesh. Interested person my contact me at e-mail # 786frkhan@gmail.com

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