Anyone make their own Baklava? Have seen it made but have yet to try myself.
Baklava is a bit time consuming, but easy to make. Try to get the freshest filo as you can - a Greek or Mid Eastern market will have the best filo. Otherwise, grab a frozen package from the back of the freezer section - it is more likely to have stayed frozen, thus making it more likely for the sheets to be whole. You can use filo sheets that have split, but it will take longer for you to put the baklava together. It is very important that you keep the stack of filo leaves covered with wax paper and a damp towel so that the leaves do not dry out.
Filo often comes in different thicknesses; use the thinnest filo for baklava.
I generally use pecans, but walnuts and/or almonds can be substituted. I use a large baking pan for this recipe. If you use a 13x9 inch pan, halve the ingredients.
2 pounds nuts
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup sugar
2 pounds filo
1 pound butter, melted
5 cups sugar
3 cups water
Juice of two lemons
2 cinnamon sticks
To prepare syrup: Combine syrup ingredients together and stir until sugar is dissolved. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture starts to boil Lower heat to medium and let syrup boil for 15 to 20 minutes or until a dab of the syrup on a cold plate forms a thin, sticky syrup. Let syrup cool. Set aside.
To assemble Baklava: Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Grind or chop the nuts and mix thoroughly with the cinnamon. Brush a 18x12x2 inch pan with butter, lay a sheet of filo in the bottom of the pan, brush with butter, and then repeat process until you have used about ten sheets. Spread one thin layer of the nut mixture on top of the filo, cover with a sheet of filo, brush with butter, cover with a second sheet of filo, brush with butter, cover with another layer of nuts, and repeat this process until all the nuts are used. Then cover with the remaining filo sheets, brushing each sheet with butter.
With a sharp knife, cut the baklava into triangles (cutting diagonally across the pan). Insert a clove in the center of each triangle. Bake at 300F for 1-1/2 hours or until the baklava is browned and has pulled away from the sides of the pan. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Pour Ã¯Â¿Â½ of the syrup over the cooled baklava and cut through each piece so that syrup will penetrate the baklava. Let baklava sit for 30 minutes or so and check to see if syrup has penetrated to the bottom of the baklava. Add remaining syrup as needed.
Cover baklava with foil and let it sit overnight. Cut into pieces and store in a tightly covered container. Baklava lasts a long time in the refrigerator and can be frozen.
Here is an excellent video from our friend, Shambo. She makes it look so easy, maybe I'll give it a try!
Here is a link that might be useful: Sue's Baklava video
In the syrup I substitute tea for water! Don't remember where I found that tip but it really is nicer with tea. Regular strength.