Sunday, September 21, 2008

Baklava with Wildflower Honey

OK I know it says Wildflower Honey in the title, but I just used regular clover honey from a squeezable bear. I did not see the point.

This is my first time ever making baklava - a pastry I have loved immensely for my whole life. I was kind of scared, and I ended up screwing up because I only put one layer of phyllo on top instead of 6! So the top didn't end up as well as it could have. But as a whole, it turned out very well and I am very happy. I really like the mixture of nuts (walnuts, pistachios, and almonds) and the nice honey flavor. I think the cloves were a little strong so I would cut back on that a little bit. He only thought it was OK, but he's never been a fan of baklava so oh well. I liked it and would probably make it again. And maybe next time, I would make it correctly.

baklava

Baklava with Wildflower Honey
Cooking Light, October 2005

Wildflower honey adds a delicate floral scent to this classic dessert, but almond honey would also work well in this recipe. If you can't find unsalted pistachios, use salted and omit the added 1/8 teaspoon salt.

Syrup:
1 1/2 cups wildflower honey
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 whole cloves
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick

Filling:
2/3 cup unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup blanched unsalted almonds, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon salt

Remaining ingredients:
Cooking spray
24 (14 x 9-inch) sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
1 tablespoon water

To prepare syrup, combine honey, 1/2 cup water, juice, cloves, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan over low heat; stir until honey is completely dissolved (about 2 minutes). Increase heat to medium; cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 230° (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat; keep warm. Remove solids with a slotted spoon; discard.

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare filling, combine pistachios and next 6 ingredients (through salt); set aside.

Lightly coat a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Working with 1 phyllo sheet at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent drying), place 1 phyllo sheet lengthwise in bottom of prepared pan, allowing end of sheet to extend over edges of dish; lightly coat with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with 5 phyllo sheets and cooking spray for a total of 6 layers. Sprinkle phyllo evenly with one-third of nut mixture (about 2/3 cup). Repeat procedure with phyllo, cooking spray, and nut mixture 2 more times. Top last layer of nut mixture with remaining 6 sheets phyllo, each one lightly coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat top phyllo sheet with cooking spray; press baklava gently into pan. Sprinkle baklava surface with 1 tablespoon water.

Make 3 even lengthwise cuts and 7 even crosswise cuts to form 32 portions using a sharp knife. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until the phyllo is golden brown. Remove from oven. Drizzle honey mixture evenly over baklava. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Store covered at room temperature.

Yield: 32 servings

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