Make Ahead

Buttery, Flaky Baklava

December  7, 2022
0 Ratings
Photo by Hajar D.
  • Prep time 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Serves 36
What You'll Need
  • Sugar syrup
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 packet phyllo dough (16 oz)
  • 1 cup clarified butter, melted
  • 2 cups butter, melted
  • 3 cups walnuts, finely ground
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar syrup (from above)
  1. Sugar syrup
  2. Prepare your sugar syrup (sharbat). Bring water and sugar to a boil on medium high eat. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add juice of half a lime, stir. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool.
  1. Thaw phyllo dough according to package instructions. Unroll one plastic sleeve of dough, place between two paper towels (wet the paper towels and wring as dry as possible). This helps the phyllo dough not dry out.
  2. In a bowl, mix the walnuts, cinnamon, 2 teaspoons of sugar, and 1/2 cup of syrup to make a coarse paste.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the clarified butter and melted butter together. If you don't have clarified butter, melt the butter well and allow the solids to settle to the bottom (try not to use them).
  4. Generously butter a half-sheet cooking tray.
  5. Gently unroll and lay one sheet of phyllo dough on the buttered pan. Butter the top of the sheet using a pastry brush. Keep the remaining phyllo dough covered in the damp towels.
  6. Continue layering individual pieces of phyllo dough, buttering each one separately, until you reach half of the phyllo sheets in the packet (usually one plastic sleeve).
  7. At the halfway point, add the walnut filling and spread in an even layer over the phyllo dough.
  8. Repeat the individual phyllo layers for the next half of the sheets, buttering every layer.
  9. Once all the phyllo dough has been used, cut the baklava into squares or triangles using a very sharp knife. It is important to cut this BEFORE baking.
  10. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour, until it turns golden brown.
  11. As soon as the baklava comes out of the oven, immediately drizzle all of the (cooled, room temperature) sugar syrup over the entire pan using a ladle. Tilt the pan to different sides to ensure each piece gets some syrup. You should hear a sizzle! The temperature difference is very important in making the baklava turn flaky and light.
  12. Let baklava sit and absorb the syrup for at least 3-6 hours before serving, preferably overnight. Top with ground walnuts or pistachios to garnish.

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