Sunday, May 24, 2009

Baklava Recipe

I was typing this recipe up for a friend, so I figured I'd post it here! You may remember the Baklava I made in November. Enjoy!


Recipe from Afghan Food and Cookery by Helen Saberi

Makes about 30 – enough for a large party.


  • 1lb filo
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 cups ground almonds (can sub. walnuts)
  • 1 cup ground pistachio (this is a big part of the flavor, so try not to sub.)


  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp saffron (generous pinch)
  • 2 tbsps rosewater (A neat variation might be orange blossom water though.)
  • 1/2 tsp ground green cardamom seeds


  • Preheat the oven to 325.
  • Oil an approximately 14x8x2 baking tray (really you can do a lot of shapes).
  • Reserve one quarter of the ground pistachio, and combine the rest of the nuts in a bowl.
  • Lay down one layer of filo, brush it with oil, then layer the next sheet on top until you have 6 layers of filo. Now spread one third of the combined nuts on this layer.
  • Repeat twice so you have 18 total layers and have used all the nuts except the quarter of reserved pistachio.
  • Brush the top layer with oil.
  • Cut strips about 1 ½ inches wide lengthwise, then cut about 45 degrees diagonally across these strips to make diamond shaped pieces.
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes until golden.


Note that you may want to not start this until the pastry is done and cooled.

  • Put the sugar, 1 cup of water, lemon juice, and saffron in a saucepan and bring to a boil slowly to dissolve the sugar.
  • Boil gently until mixture becomes syrupy and sticks to the back of a spoon.
  • Now add the cardamom and rosewater and simmer for another couple minutes.
  • Remove from heat and keep warm.

Combining and Serving:

  • Allow the pastry to cool to room temperature then carefully spoon the prepared syrup all over the pastry. (This reputedly avoids soggy Baklava, though I'm not 100% sure yet.)
  • Add the reserved pistachio on top, let cool again, then serve with good tea.

*Note that Afghans pronounce it with a "w" sound instead of "v".

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