When Panayiotis, the chef at Mark Warner Levante resort was prepared to share with me how to make Baklava, I knew I had struck gold. A little square of Baklava was the perfect end to every evening meal on our holiday in Rhodes this summer. I couldn’t wait to cheer up Autumn and recreate it back home.
Baklava would make a lovely gift to cheer someone up, the perfect finish to a dinner party, or even a pretty awesome but easily achieved thank you present for a teacher. My 8 yo really enjoyed making these.
The kids had an INSET day, so my daughter and I decided to test out Panayiotis’ recipe. It doesn’t take long to prepare, but takes a long time to bake, so it is a good one for a lazy day at home. I wasn’t sure I had got it right at first, the filo seemed quite crispy, but Baklava is often better the next day, and it soon settled into the gooey, spicy, nutty magic I remembered – try and be patient and give the syrup time to work it’s magic. The lemon in the syrup is a really tasty addition.
How to make Baklava
Ingredients for Baklava
1 packet (or ½ pound) Filo pastry
1 packet (or 250 g) fresh butter
200 g peeled almonds (unsalted and uncooked)
150 g walnuts
1 tsp teaspoon cinnamon
1 tsp sugar
Ingredients for the syrup
250 g sugar
200 ml water
1 tsp tablespoon lemon
Rind of ½ lemon
- First prepare the syrup, put the sugar, water, lemon juice and peel in a saucepan and boil until the syrup thickens, about 10 minutes. (We ended up making toffee the first time, so don’t boil for longer).
2. Grind nuts in the blender. Add cinnamon and sugar and mix well.
3. Melt the butter in a small pan.
4. Start to lay the fillo pastry leaves in a buttered or greaseproof parchment lined dish or tray, one at a time – brush generously with melted butter over the entire surface.
5. Sprinkle over ground almonds and walnuts and spread evenly. Continue to add the leaves and ground nuts.
6. When at the last leaf smear the entire surface with butter. With a sharp knife cut the baklava into small diagonal slices and/or squares. The baklava is ready to bake.
7. The baklava bakes for 150 minutes in total, the maths here tested my head a little!
- Bake for 90 minutes at oven to 140 ° C. Cover with foil for the first 30 minutes, then take it off for 60 minutes.
- After this initial 90 minutes turn down the temperature to 120 ° C, then bake for another 60 minutes with the foil on top again.
9. Take the baklava from the oven and while still warm throw syrup on top so it goes everywhere. The syrup must be cold when pouring on top. Let it cool down before cutting.
If possible wait a day before eating, you won’t regret it!