In Turkey, to this day one can hear a common expression often used by the poor, or even by the middle class, saying: “I am not rich enough to eat baklava and boerek every day”.
makes 10 pieces
- 75g/3oz butter, melted
- 6 large sheet of filo pastry
- 225g/8oz chopped mixed nuts (almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts and walnuts)
- 50g/2oz fresh breadcrumbs
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- 1tsp mixed spice
- 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
- 250ml/8fl oz clear honey (1cup)
- 60ml lemon juice (4tbsp)
- Preheat oven to 180 °C/350°F/Gas 4.
- Butter a 28 x 18cm/ 11 x 7 in tin.
- Unroll the filo pastry, brush on sheet with melted butter and use it to line the tin, easing it carefully up the sides. Repeat the process with two more sheets of filo, easing the pastry into the corners and letting the edges overhang the tin.
- Mix the nuts, breadcrumbs and spices in a bowl and spoon this mixture evenly into the lined tin.
- Cut the remaining three sheets of filo pastry in half widthways and brush each one with a little of the butter. Layer half the pieces of filo on top of the filling and fold in any overhanging edges. Top with the remaining buttered filo. With a sharp knife, mark the baklava diagonally into diamonds. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden.
- Meanwhile, heat the honey and lemon juice gently in a pan. When the baklava is cooked, remove it from the oven and pour the syrup over while still warm. Leave to cool completely, then cut into diamonds, following the markings in the pastry, and serve.
Baklava – the fabulous fillo treat can be stored and cared for a number of different ways. The choices is yours.
Baklava should last for weeks at room temperature in an air tight container. You’ll notice that the pastries will become more chewy/juicy as time goes on.
You may refrigerate your baklavas this will make them hard and chewy but you can enjoy them longer. Freezing is another alternative. Simply set at room temperature until pastries thaw and serve.