Walnut and Orange Baklava

img_3525Every once in a while, when we feel homesick, we whip up a batch of traditional Greek food. It never fails to rekindle childhood memories of watching your mother make it at the weekends. Baklava is one dessert that’s so easy to make, but it looks super-impressive at any dinner party. It’s great after a heavy meal, when your guests don’t have too much room for a proper dessert, but a little bite of this flaky goodness goes down well with coffee or tea at the end of the meal. Here’s how we do it:

Filo pastry sheets – 200 gm

Walnuts 150 gm, chopped finely

Butter 125 gm, melted

Equipment: Baking tray, 25 x 25cm

For the syrup:

Caster sugar – 1 cup

Urbangrains Mount Flower Honey – 1/2 cup

Water – 1/2 cup

Orange – 1, tested

Method:

1.) Preheat the oven to 180*C.

2.) Make the syrup: heat the water, sugar and honey together in a small saucepan. Bring to a light boil and heat for about 3-4 minutes. Take off the heat and add the orange zest for flavour. Keep aside to cool.

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3.) Trim the filo pastry sheets to fit the square baking tray. Lay the sheets aside. A good trick is to cover the sheets with a damp towel as you prepare the dessert to prevent them from drying out.

4.) Line the tray with baking parchment.

5.) Spread a little melted butter on the baking parchment so it holds the sheets in place.

6.) Lay the first sheet. Using a pastry brush, spread a thin layer of melted butter. Cover the entire sheet.

 

7.) Lay around 4-5 sheets, each time spreading a thin layer of butter over each one.

8.) Now spread a thin layer of walnuts to cover the fifth layer.

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9.) You’re back to laying sheets of pastry again. Lay another five, each one buttered.

10.) Spread the second thin layer of walnuts.

11.) Repeat the process of laying sheets and lay another 5 sheets over the nuts.

12.) Spread butter over the final sheet and now you’re ready to portion the pastry. You do this before you bake because it’s a lot easier than when the pastry crisps in the oven. We decided to go for small triangles because, as you know, with all the butter, honey and nuts it is quite a rich dessert. Also, smaller pieces means you have more to share!

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13.) Bake in the oven until the top is golden brown.

14.) Drain the syrup and immediately pour over the baklava as it comes out of the oven.

15.) Leave overnight for the syrup to soak in well.

16.) It’s now ready to serve and be enjoyed by all!

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