Tuesday, April 21, 2015

BAKLAVA

Ingredients

roasting pan 16” x 12” x 2.5” deep - 1
fresh phyllo dough from an authentic Greek deli, non of that frozen BS from the grocery store - 2 packages
Ingredients for the filling:
unsalted  butter melted - 3-4 sticks
 walnuts - 3 cups
1 part blanched almonds - 1(ish) cup
sugar - 1/4 cup
cinnamon - at least a few teaspoons
Ingredients for the syrup:
sugar - 4 cups
water - 2 cups
Lemon (of course, it just wouldn’t be Greek without lemon) - 1 thick slice
cinnamon stick - 1
honey - 1/2 cup


Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350°. Melt butter  in a small saucepan. While the butter is melting, chop the nuts.
Grind the walnuts  until they appear evenly coarse. Toss them into a big mixing bowl and repeat with the almonds. Then add the sugar and add few punches of cinnamon into the mix. Mix it all up with a wooden spoon and set aside. Lightly grease the pan.  Roll out the phyllo dough.
Lay down 1 sheet of phyllo and brush with melted butter. Repeat 6 more times so you have a base of 7 sheets, no more, no less. Sprinkle handful of the nut mix over the phyllo dough.  Now cover with another sheet of phyllo and butter it up. Add a second sheet and butter   too. Sprinkle with your hand and repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat...You will do this for what feels like 3000 years but, really only until you’ve made it through 2 of the phyllo packages.
Once you have filled your pan nearly 3/4 of the way to the top  add 8-10 layers of only phyllo painted with butter. It’s almost oven time but NEVER forget to cut the baklava before baking. Gently score the top layer every 2 inches, then cut into squares along your lines. Once you’re square, you will cut each square in half forming little Greek deltas.
Take a shot of ouzo.
Bake h for 45-50 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake for another 20-30 minutes until it is the warm golden color .While the baklava is baking, make the syrup. In this case, we will actually measure. Pour the sugar and water into a saucepan. Boil until clear, like ouzo. Also, take a shot of ouzo . Once the syrup is clarified, remove from heat and and add the lemon, honey and cinnamon stick. Allow to cool.
Once the baklava is baked to perfection, remove from the oven and evenly pour the syrup over the HOT baklava. The sweet sizzling sound lets your know that all of those crispy thin layers are soaking up the syrup. It is important that you let the baklava set for at least 8 hours before serving.

Now, soak up some syrup yourself and shoot some more ouzo, you need to keep yourself occupied until the baklava sets. Yasou!