Turkish Baklava


Baklava is a very sweet and delicious dessert - and goes perfect with a strong espresso coffee. Whilst this is a Popular dessert here in Bulgaria, the origins are probably somewhat further south as the Greeks claim it as Greek and the Turks as Turkish! There are many variations of this recipe and this is my own version which seems just about right. This may not be the easiest to prepare recipe we have ever published but it is truly worth the effort ... enjoy!

500g filo pastry sheets (available everywhere nowadays!)
500g unsalted butter
500g of finely chopped walnuts
50g sugar
5ml vanilla essence
Half a cup of sugar
1 cup of honey
500ml water
5ml lemon juice
Teaspoon of cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 175 deg. C In a pan, boil the water and half a cup of sugar for 15 minutes. Add the lemon juice and honey boil for a further 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. For the filling, combine the walnuts, 50g of sugar and vanilla essence. Mix well. Melt the butter in a saucepan and place two tablespoons in the bottom of a baking tray (I use 30cm x 20cm). Cut the filo to the size of the baking tray and place two sheets in the bottom, then again brush with melted butter. Now spread a couple of spoons of the walnut mixture on the filo sheets. Add two more filo sheets, and again brush with melted butter. Continue in this manner of filo, walnut, filo, walnut until the ingredients are used up. Cut the Baklava into individual portions before baking for around 1 hour until a lovely golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes the pour over the honey and sugar mixture which should have cooled by now and sprinkle with icing sugar. Let stand for at least another two hours - if you can .


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