Baklava (also known as baklawa) is a popular pastry that takes on many forms, depending on which part of the eastern Mediterranean you are in. However, the basic idea (buttery, flaky pastry dough with a filling (usually nuts) stays the same. When working with filo dough, always cover sheets that are not being used with a damp towel (to keep the fragile dough from drying out). A food processor is the best way to finely chop the nuts. Although, I prefer pistachios, walnuts and blanched almonds are commonly used. If you are going to use walnuts, you can add 2 teaspoons cinnamon to the walnut sugar mixture. Its a good idea to make the syrup first, so it has time to cool. If the baklava is too sweet for you, you can use less syrup.
2 cups pistachio nuts - finely chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1 pound filo dough - thawed
1 pound butter - melted
4 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 drop lemon juice
2 teaspoons rose water
For the Baklava
In a medium bowl, combine sugar and nuts. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Butter the bottom of a 14 x 10 inch pan. Lay 2 sheets of filo over the bottom of the pan. Brush generously with butter. Repeat until half of the filo dough is used up. Spoon the nut mixture evenly over the last layer. Place two sheets of filo over the nut mixture. Brush generously with butter. Repeat until the remainder of the filo dough is used up (ending with butter). Cut into 3 inch squares. Halve the squares to make 1 1/2 inch triangles. Bake for 1 hour at 300 degrees F. Remove from oven and pour cold syrup over the baklava. Saturate well.
For the Sugar Syrup
Meanwhile, make the sugar syrup. Combine sugar, water, and lemon juice in a saucepan. Boil over medium heat for about 10 to 15 minutes. Before removing from heat, add rose water and let come to a boil. Remove from heat and cool.
Calories: 252 Calories From Fat: 46%
Protein: 2g Carbohydrate: 33g
Cholesterol: 28mg Sodium: 171mg