Baklava

Baklava with Almond Filling

Portions:

24 pieces

Cook Time:

1.5 hours

Can I adapt this easily as a vegetarian or vegan?

Yes

This is my grandmother's recipe, completely unchanged.

Ingredients

Syrup

  • 300g caster sugar

  • 180ml water

  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water

  • juice of half a lemon


Baklava

  • 350g blanched almonds

  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar

  • 2 tablespoons orange blossom water

  • 1 heaped tablespoon cinnamon

  • 800g filo pastry

  • 200g unsalted butter or margarine

  • 100ml sunflower or light olive oil

Preparation

Part One; Syrup

(Can be done up to a day in advance)


Step One 

Stir the sugar and water together in a saucepan (don't use non-stick for this)


Step Two 

Place the pan on a high heat until the sugary water turns clear

Boil for 5 minutes without stiring


Step Three

Add the tangering juice and boil for another 30 seconds


Step Four

Take the syrup off the stove, stir in the orange blossom water 


Step Five

Decant into a heat proof container, and put straight into the fridge to cool for at least half an hour before continuing



Part Two

Step One

Blend the almonds, cinnamon, orange blossom water and sugar together in a food processor until a coarse mixture has formed


Step Two

Preheat the oven to 160°C 

Grease a large, shallow baking tray (about 4-5cm deep)


Step Three

Melt the butter and combine with the oil


Step Four 

Place a sheet of filo pastry on the tray and brush with butter, folding or adding to the sheet of pastry so that it lines the whole base of the tray. Continue until you have used half of the pastry


Step Five 

Spread the almond mixture over the pastry making sure to get an even layer on the whole tray


Step Six

Layer the remainder of the pastry as before. Try not to press it down - this keeps the baklava light and fluffy


Step Seven

Cut or fold the final sheet of pastry so that it fits the tray as neatly as possible, lay it over the top and lightly brush with butter


Step Eight 

Using a sharp knife, slice into triangles


Step Nine

Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the pastry is cooked through and a light golden brown


Step Ten

Slowly pour the cold syrup over the hot baklava as soon as it comes out of oven

Notes

If you can't find orange blossom water, you may be able to find orange blossom extract in a supermarket. This is an essential oil, and so only 2 drops should be used, alongside a tablespoon of water according to the recipe.


If you can, buy your filo pastry from a Greek or Middle Eastern store, it will be much thinner and more tender than the filo sold in mainstream supermarkets