Ingredients for 30-35 pieces:
2 packets of Filo pastry containing 10 sheets each.
200 g unsalted pistachio nuts
4 tablespoons sesame seeds
160 g unsalted butter
400 g sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Remove the pastry from the fridge and leave to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C – fan assisted oven 175°C – Gas mark 3.
Place the pistachio nuts into a food processor or coffee grinder and process until fine. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the ground nuts for decoration. Mix the remaining pistachios with the sesame seeds. Melt the butter gently in a small saucepan. Take an ovenproof dish,or tin, about 30 x 30 cm, and brush with the melted butter. Taking half of the Filo pastry sheets start to place them on the botom in layers brushing each layer with a little of the melted butter. Spread the pistachio and sesame mixture over the buttered sheets of filo pastry. With the second packet of filo pastry continue layering the sheets over the pistachios, brushing each layer with the melted butter. Take a sharp knife and cut the baklava into rectangles inside the dish, of about 4 x 6 cm in size. Pour the remainiing butter over the top.
Bake in the oven for 40 – 45 minutes until golden brown and crispy. (Cover the baklava loosely with tinfoil for the last 20 – 25 minutes to prevent it from burning).
Meanwhile prepare the syrup for soaking the baklava. Place the sugar, lemon juice and 300 ml of water in a saucepan over a low heat. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Bring the syrup to the boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes until it forms a syrup. As soon as the baklava is taken out of the oven pour all the syrup over the top evenly. Leave to cool. Before serving sprinkle a little of the remaining chopped pistachios over the top of each piece.
Traditional Greek Baklava
6 large sheets of Filo pastry
75 g butter, melted
225 g chopped mixed nuts
50 g fresh breadcrumbs
1 teasp ground cinnamon
1 teasp mixed spice
½ teasp grated nutmeg
250 ml clear honey
4 tblsp lemon juice
Pre-heat the oven 180°C Gas 4.
Grease a baking sheet approx. 18 x 28 cm. In a bowl mix together the nuts, breadcrumbs and spices. Unroll the first sheet of Filo pastry, keeping the rest covered with a damp tea towel. Brush the first sheet with melted butter. Line the baking sheet with the filo sheet easing the edges up the side of the tin. Brush another two layers of the filo pastry with the melted butter and lay on top of the first, press into the corners and leave to hang slightly over the sides. Spoon the nut mixture over the filo pastry in the lined tin. Cut the remaining three sheets of filo pastry in half withways and brush with the melted butter. Layer the sheets on top of the filling and fold in any overhanging edges. Make cuts in the Baklava to form diamond shapes. Place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until golden brown. While the Baklava is baking, heat the honey and lemon juice in a saucepan. When the Baklava is cooked, take from the oven and pour the syrup over the top while it is still hot. Leave to cool completely and then re-cut the shapes.
Serve with a good strong coffee.
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