My second recipe for the Ramadan series is Baklava or Baklawa as it is pronounced in Arabic, it is a traditional delicious rich dessert that is very popular around the Mediterranean,it is consist of layers of phyllo filled with nuts and drenched in a syrup. Baklava mostly enjoyed at Ramadan and the celebrations of Eid and any other celebrations throughout the year. There are numerous variations of baklava filling ,A walnut filling , pistachios filling, almond filling, cashew filling or simply mixed nuts filling. The most coveted baklava of them all is pistachio baklava made with bright green, raw pistachio nuts.Also Baklava comes on various shapes and sizes you’d never dream of. Squares, diamonds, rolls, nests, spirals and many more other shapes.
I made Baklava with three deferent fillings, diamond shape pistachios filling, cashew filled nests topped with pistachios, and the round shape you see in pictures up. Preparing Baklava is not difficult at all but it needs time especially at the first time you try to prepare it but then when you start using to prepare it you will start being very fast.
to prepare this recipe just follow the steps bellow,
*to prepare the syrup:
4 cups sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
on medium high heat mix the sugar with water until boiling then add the lemon juice and let the syrup simmer for about 10 minutes
when baklava done the syrup should be cooled down, mix 1 cup of syrup with one cup of honey and use it for baklava
for the layers :
1 package phyllo dough (I used 1 B, 454g package, 40 sheets )(I used 3 packages to make 3 different fillings, but you can use one and make many shapes using it)
1\2 cup pure ghee (you can use butter but Ghee give you the strong authenticated flavor)(I used 1 1\2 cup with the 3 phyllo packages)
1- Pistachios filling:
400g raw pistachios finely grounded using food processor
1 Tbsp Ghee
3 Tbsp honey
1 tbsp orange blossom water (optional)
mix all together
2- Cashew filling:(you can use roasted peanuts instead )
2 cups finely grounded raw cashew
1 Tbsp cinnamon powder
mix ’em together.
3- Walnut filling:
400 g grounded walnuts
2 Tbsp cinnamon powder
3 Tbsp coconuts flakes(optional)
mix all together
1- to prepare the diamond shape pistachios or walnut baklava,
set your oven on 400 f , grease your pan with 2 Tbsp of Ghee , prepare your phyllo sheets near you and keep them covered inside a damp cloth to save them from being dry.
start with putting the first phyllo sheet in the bottom of the greased pan, using a brush start to spread Ghee all around the sheet,put another sheet above the first sheet and brush it with Ghee then keep layering until you finish 13 layer, now spread your filling (either the pistachios or walnut) then finish layering the sheets until you finish all the 40 sheets you have and be sure to brush Ghee in-between layers. When you are done layering brush the surface of baklava with Ghee and using a sharp knife cut the baklava into diamond shapes, then bake it for about 10 minutes on 400 f, then reduce the temperature to 320 degrees and bake it for other 30 to 40 minutes, when it is buff and golden then it is done, take it out and drench with syrup, let it to cool down in room temperature then enjoy it.
2-to prepare cashew baklava,
as you can see above, firstly you take a sheet of phyllo then add the cashew filling (do not brush the sheet with any fat) then roll it using a long pin. now using your both hands try pressing on both edges to inside to make the shape looks like the picture above. then take the pin out and shape it either as a nest or as the shape I made up. arrange your baklava pieces on a good greased pan, when you are done with your baklava brush all pieces with Ghee then bake it in oven on 350 degree for about 20 minutes until golden from up and down sides. add syrup and let them to cool down then enjoy them.