Easy and delicious baklava recipe
Ah delicious baklava! I recently went to Turkey and almost overdoses on the amount of baklava we got served at every single meal. And in between because what would you eat with your coffee, right? So coming home I figured it would be fun to make my own baklava. While you might think it is difficult, a homemade baklava recipe is surprisingly easy to make.
Making the best baklava recipe
You might now baklava from dinner at Greek restaurants or Turkish restaurants. Where the dessert originally comes from is not entirely clear. For me it is mostly Middle East and I associate it with a Greek baklava as much as a Turkish baklava. Most likely they all claim to be the inventor of the baklava recipe. Personally I don’t really mind what the exact origins are, as long as I can enjoy it myself! This is definitely not a traditional recipe but the flavors are pretty similar so for your homemade baklava you can definitely use this.
Table of contents
What you need to make the baklava
- phyllo sheets (defrosted if you use frozen)
- melted butter
- food processor
- very sharp knife
- nuts (I used a combination of walnuts, pistachio and pecan nuts)
- damp towel to keep the sheets of phyllo dough under while working on the dish
One word on the pistachio. Depending on where you live they are ridiculously expensive at the moment. I wanted to use the original bright green pistachio nuts but found out they would cost me 35 euro for 500 gram. I thought that was a bit much so I used walnuts instead. During my recent visit to Turkey I did buy pistachio so I used some of it in the filling and some on the top layer but I wasn’t going to spend that much money. Nuts in general are expensive anyway but there is such a thing as too much. You’re most likely going to be making this for special occasions so it’s ok to spend a little bit more but within reason of course.
How much nuts do you need to build the layers?
How much you need in total depends on how thick you make your layers. I wouldn’t go too thick. I used roughly 250 gram for building all the layers. It is a good idea to keep some extra in case you need it.
Building the baklava
For making the baklava you first need an oven dish and preferably a package of phyllo that would go inside. You can cut the phyllo dough to the size you need it to be. My baking tray was somewhat on the large side and that can result in sliding layers. Especially once you have to cut the layers before placing it in the oven. So as tight as possible is a good idea.
Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. Melt your butter and have that ready.
I used 3 phyllo sheets for each layer. You brush the melted butter on the bottom layer and place the first sheet on top. Each sheet of phyllo gets plenty of butter brushed on it. After three layers you add your the first of the nut layers. Spread it over the phyllo pastry and continue with the next three layers. You continue this process until all layers are done. I ended up with three levels of the phyllo. You can do more if you want.
Now preheat the oven to 180˚C and – using a very sharp knife – make sure to cut the phyllo in squares or a diamond pattern. Diamond shapes look prettier but I went for the squares. It doesn’t make a difference in taste so just use whatever you think is easiest to do.
Place the baklava in the oven and move on to make the honey syrup.
Making the sweet honey syrup
This sweet syrup is the key to make a baklava. It provides the sticky and sweet taste that is so typical for a baklava. You place a small saucepan or medium saucepan on the stove on low heat. You add water and sugar and combine honey with it. Bring the whole thing to a boil and wait until the sugar dissolves before turning the heat up a bit and letting it simmer for around half an hour. You can optionally add orange blossom water. Don’t use too much of this as you don’t want it to overpower all the other flavors. You can also add a bit of lemon juice to make it a bit fresher.
Obviously a baklava is a really sweet treat and the honey syrup is the one to blame for that. It’s without a doubt a delicious dessert, but don’t expect it to be healthy. 🙂
As soon as the syrup is done you can let it cool down a bit.
Once the hot baklava is golden brown and comes out of the oven you immediately pour over the hot syrup. Make sure to divide evenly across all layers of phyllo dough. You want it to be super sticky on all areas of the baklava. For best results leave the baklava to stand for a few hours to soak up all the honey syrup. Sprinkle some pistachio on top of the baklava directly after adding the hot syrup.
While you can definitely serve the baklava as is, this perfect make-ahead dessert is also very delicious served with something like a good ice-cream. The sweetness of the baklava pairs really well with some refreshing ice-cream.
Baklava is probably one of the best desserts of all time and can easily be adapted to your own preference. You can swap out nuts for whatever kind of nuts you have available. Like I said this is definitely not a classic baklava recipe but it is an easy recipe and even better if you eat it the next day.
Easy baklava recipe
- baking tray 20 x 20 cm
- Pastry brush
- Food processor
- 1 package phyllo pastry you need 12 to 16 sheets
- 200 gr walnuts
- 100 gr pistachio
- 50 gr pecan nuts
- 200 gr butter melted
- 1 tbsp ginger spices
- 150 gr sugar
- 250 ml water
- 250 ml honey
- Make a mix of the nuts by placing walnuts, pecans and pistachio together in the bowl of the food processor and turn until you have a rough mix. Don't overmix it. You don't want a nut paste. Add the ginger spices and stir through. Set aside.
- Make the honey mix by adding sugar and water together. Bring to the boil and let the sugar dissolve. Add the honey and orange blossom water (if using) and bring to the boil. Leave to simmer for about 30 minutes. Let it cool down.
- Brush a baking dish with some of the melted butter. Place a sheet of phyllo pastry on top and brush with the melted butter. Add another sheet and brush again. Repeat until you have brushed 3 or 4 sheets.
- Add one third of your nut mixture and start another phyllo dough layer by repeating the steps. Each layer is 3-4 sheets of phyllo.
- Add nuts again and repeat.
- Your final layer should be with phyllo pastry. Brush this with the melted butter and cut into squares or diamond shapes. Bake in the oven at 180˚C (350˚F) for about 35-45 minutes or until golden brown.
- Take out of the oven and pour the syrup over it while still hot. Sprinkle the pistachios on top. Now leave to stand for a couple of hours
The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.