Thank you for your continued patience in my erratic posting, things have been very much overwhelming for me this past week or so and don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. The first wedding was really beautiful and a great success, tomorrow I am leaving for the second wedding (where I am matron of honor for my best friend from high school). I am so excited for my two great friends to enter into the wonderful roller coaster ride world of marriage; I am a HUGE fan of finding and marrying your best friend and spending the rest of your life loving and learning to love them!
But enough about love and marriage, before I left the island I made baklava. I must first confess that Greek syrup sweets are not my go to when I am craving something sweet, but that was all before I MADE them at home! The patisseries are professional in making them, but they are almost always way too sweet for my taste! But by reducing the sugar and syrup content, the end result is a flavorful combination of nuts + cinnamon + sugar + perfectly crunchy phyllo = a wowing Greek dessert to say the least!
Homemade Baklava Recipe:
1 pkg, thin phyllo
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups walnuts*
1 cup pistachios*
1 cup almonds*
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2-3 T. white sugar
1 T. cinnamon
1 small package of whole clove buds
*measured and then processed or chopped
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2″ lemon peel slice*
2″ orange peel slice*
3/4 cup light honey
* Preferably without the white, bitter part
Melt butter in microwave or small pan on the stove and set aside. Unroll your phyllo dough and cover lightly with a damp cloth or towel. Measure and then process or finely chop your walnuts, almonds, and pistachios; mix together with sugars and cinnamon, set aside. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F, and gently brush your pan and 5 sheets (each) with melted butter and layer into the bottom of the pan. Evenly spread 1/3 of the nut mixture all over the bottom layer. Butter 2 more phyllo sheets and repeat, finally topping your baklava with 5 final buttered phyllo sheets. Cut with a sharp knife into triangles or squares, gently holding the phyllo so that it doesn’t break apart. Push a clove bud into each triangle to hold the phyllo together and add a little decor. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown. While the baklava is cooking, prepare the syrup – bring the sugar, water, peels, and cinnamon stick to a boil for about 15 minutes and then add the honey, letting boil just another few minutes. Let cool until the baklava is ready, then pour over the hot baklava. Serve warm or room temperature, sprinkle with some extra crushed pistachios, optional.
This is a wonderful recipe to share and can easily be halved or the mixture can also be prepared ahead of time. Even if you have not liked baklava in the past, I encourage you to try this recipe…. it is a Greek classic!!!
I hope you are enjoying your summer and if you are feeling stuck in a boring routine, remember that sometimes that grass isn’t always greener on the other side. I have really been contemplating returning to my little Greek bubble; plus, I am just totally lost without my other half – this has truly been a couple of the hardest weeks of my life! Thanks for your continued prayers and encouragements as well, it is so powerful to hear from each of you, thank you so very much!!!!