Thank you Yotam Ottoloneghi for existing and for sharing this recipe with us, the humble world!
As much as I love walnuts, my bf is allergic to it so I switched for a mix of pistachios and cashew nuts instead. The rest of the recipe is the same, maybe with a little bit more sugar and some added lemon juice in the filling because for some reason all of my ingredients were salty AF. Oh and I went low with the cinnamon too.
In the final result you can’t feel the saltiness but you know it’s there because the sweet taste is balanced. The baklava isn’t hurting your throat while eating it (I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s still super sweet, but balanced sweet). I also used more butter than the original recipe required, just because.
I know that maybe making Baklava at home might be quite an intimidating thing but it’s not, really. It’s all about making sure you don’t forget to butter those filo pastry sheets individually while assembling it. The rest is in the hands of sugar, butter and carbs. You can’t go wrong, really.
So, for a 21×15 cm tray, I used:
- 100 grams of roasted peeled pistachios
- 100 grams of cashews
- 2 tbsp of sugar
- 2 tbsp of melted butter
- zest from 1 lemon
- juice from half of lemon
- pinch of cinnamon
- freshly grated nutmeg
- 200 grams of halloumi cheese
- filo pastry
- 150 grams of melted butter for the filo pastry
For the syrup:
- 150 grams sugar
- 90 grams water
- 1 1/2 tsbp rose water
- lemon juice from half a lemon
- crack open your pistachios;
- with the help of a food processor pulse the pistachios and cashews until they look finely chopped; make sure you pulse them, otherwise you’ll have pistachio-cashew butter;
- grate the halloumi cheese and add it to a bowl;
- add the nuts on top along with the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, melted butter and spices and mix everything well;
- preheat your oven at 180°C;
- melt your butter and set it aside;
- add some melted butter to your pan and distribute it evenly;
- measure your filo pastry to the size of your pan – mine was exactly in half;
- start assembling your baklava by adding one filo pastry sheet on the bottom of your pan; brush it with melted butter; take another single sheet of dough, put it on top, brush it with melted butter, take another single sheet of dough, put it on top, brush it with melted butter – and again and again, 8 times for the bottom layer;
- add some filling on top;
- add another single sheet of dough of top, brush with butter, repeat 4 times, add filling, another filo dough sheet, brush with butter, repeat 4 times and so on until you finish your filling; you should get around 5 layers of filling, with 4 individually buttered filo pastry sheets in between, except for the bottom part and lower part which have 8;
- for the top layer, repeat step no.9; the bottom layer and the top layer needs to be a bit thicker so go again for 8 layers of dough, each buttered individually;
I know, it’s annoying but definitely worth it! All of that flakiness and crunchiness, thank you butter!
- once you finished layering and buttering, tuck your baklava in and with a sharp knife cut it into small squares – this step is crucial since it will allow the syrup later on to absorb;
- add it to the oven at 180°C for 45-50 min, no fan;
- in a sauce pan add the sugar and the water in;
- allow it to simmer on high for 2-3 minute or up until the sugar has dissolved and it starts to bubble;
- turn the heat to medium-low, add the rose water and the lemon;
- let it simmer for 6 to 7 additional minutes;
And for the most satisfying part of all, pour that syrup over your super hot freshly out of the oven baklava and watch mesmerized, the bubbling.
It may sound complicated but if you forget all of that buttering of individual sheets of dough, it’s quite an easy recipe! Plus you can’t really go wrong with all of that butter and carbs and sugar and nuts. You just…can’t.
Eat in moderation,