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Buttery, Sweet and Perfectly Flakey Baklava

By markobrien

December 20, 2016 at 12:10am


  • 250g water
  • 500g sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 200g melted butter
  • 1 pack filo pastry
  • 350g mix of almonds, pistachios and walnuts

I have been lucky enough to have visited Turkey a couple of times in my life.

A few things stick out in my mind for me, the latent heat, the consistent tobacco smog that seemed to rest of the shoulders of every group of men, and the desserts.

So many of the ancient, stony backstreets, which are now home to bars, nightclubs, and potholes so large they could swallow a stiletto clad reveller whole, open up during the day into the most wondrous bakeries.

Shelves upon shelves heaving with the weight of pastries, breads and Turkish Delight. My personal favourite amongst these puffed heart-attacks-in-waiting has to baklava.


Step 1

All your necessary ingredients.


Step 2

First you're going to make up a sugar stock syrup. In a large heavy saucepan, bring together the sugar, water, rose water, and the juice of the lemon.


Step 3

Get this pan onto a medium heat and simmer for about ten to fifteen minutes or until the sugar has dissolved and you are left with a slightly thickened sugar syrup. Once this is cooked, set it aside.


Step 4

Add all of your nuts into a food processor.


Step 5

Blitz until you have a good mix of big pieces and a finer powder.


Step 6

Take a deep roasting dish, about 20cm x 25cm and brush the base and sides with the melted butter.


Step 7

Layer in one sheet of filo, fold over the edges until it covers the base of the pan.


Step 8

Brush this with the melted butter again.


Step 9

Repeat this layering until you have used about half of the filo sheets. Make sure to work quickly as the pastry dries out very fast.


Step 10

When you have used half of the sheets, add in the nut mixture and make sure it is level.


Step 11

Now continue layering in filo and butter until you have none left.


Step 12

At this stage I like to cut the shapes into it as it is easier than cutting them once it is cooked.


Step 13

Place this into a preheated oven at 160 degrees for about 45 minutes.


Step 14

Crank it up to 180 for another ten after that to get a nice golden colour on the top


Step 15

Pour the sugar syrup over the pastry, ensuring it goes down all the divides evenly until it comes up just level with the top layer.


Step 16

Return to the oven for another five minutes, then remove and allow to cool fully before cutting it up and serving.


Step 17


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This snack is incredibly sweet and rich and dense, as such you really don’t need much of it.

They go incredibly well next to a strong black coffee on a hot afternoon in the Turkish sun. Or just after a cuppa during a Netflix binge.


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