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Old 2nd April 2005, 21:24   #1 (permalink)
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Baklava

Layered pastry with pistachio and honey

To make one 9- by 13-inch pastry

3/4 pound butter (3 quarter-pound sticks), cut into 1/4.inch bits, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 40 sheets file pastry, each about 16inches long and 12 inches wide, thoroughly defrosted if frozen, 4 cups shelled Turkish Pistachio pulverized in a blender or with a nut grinder or mortar and pestle
SYRUP

1 1/2 cups sugar, 3/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon honey


Procedure

Clarify the butter in a heavy saucepan or skillet in the following fashion: Melt the butter slowly over low heat without letting itbrown, skimming off the foam as it rises to the surface. Remove the pan from the heat, let it rest for 2 or 3 minutes, then spoon off the clear butter and discard the milky solids at the bottom of the pan.

Preheat the oven to 350 degree and stir the vegetable oil into the clarified butter. Using a pastry brush coat the bottom and sides of a 13-by-9-by-2 1/2inch baking dish with about 1 tablespoon of the mixture.

Fold a sheet of filo in half crosswise, lift it up gently and unfold it into the prepared dish. Press the pastry flat, fold down the excess around the sides and flatten it against the bottom. Brush the entire surface of the pastry lightly with the butter and oil mixture, and lay another sheet of filo on top, folding it down and buttering it in similar fashion. Sprinkle the pastry evenly with about 3 tablespoons of pistachio.

Repeat the same procedure using two sheets of buttered file and 3 tablespoons of the pulverized pistachio each time to make 19 layers in all. Spread the 2 remaining sheets of filo on top and brush the baklava with all of the remaining butter and oil mixture.

With a small, sharp knife score the top of the pastry with parallel diagonal lines about 1/2 inch deep and 2 inches apart, then cross them diagonally to form diamond shapes. Bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300 degree and bake for 45 minutes longer, or until the top is crisp and golden brown.



Meanwhile, make the syrup. Combine the sugar, water and lemon juice in a small saucepan and, stirring constantly, cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to high and, timing it from the moment the syrup boils, cook briskly, uncovered, for about 5 minutes, or until the syrup reaches a temperature of 220 degree on a candy thermometer. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the honey. Pour the syrup into a bowl or pitcher and set it aside.

When the baklava is done, remove it from the oven and pour the syrup over it. Cool to room temperature, and just before serving, cut the baklava into diamond-shaped serving pieces.
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Old 13th June 2005, 19:52   #2 (permalink)
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I need to do this as we had a BBQ last week (it didn't rain neither!!) and my neigbour brought along some baklava, only a small amount it cost him 9.30 [:0][:0][:0]

It looks pretty easy to cook, maybe I will give a try [:0] Does anyone make it?

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Old 13th June 2005, 19:56   #3 (permalink)
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I did make it couple of times, you need to use the proper filo pastry, you can get some ready made from Turkish shops.
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Old 13th June 2005, 20:02   #4 (permalink)
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I'm going to give it a go then if you've made it I will let you know how I get on[:0][]
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Old 13th June 2005, 20:41   #5 (permalink)
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As an alternative us walnuts or almonds or a mixture. Any excess of nuts put into a tightly sealed container for use at a later time.
There are many ways of making it - some have spices added to the sugar and nut mix.
The syrup can also be varied with flavours.
The coarseness of the nuts is down to personal preferrence - I like a little crunch to it.
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Old 13th June 2005, 20:45   #6 (permalink)
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Gosh it's the guys who have made this just goes to show where the sweet teeth are. Thank you
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Old 13th June 2005, 20:49   #7 (permalink)
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I like nuts, so I put a mixture of all the ones I could find at home including, Almonds, Cashew, Walnuts and Pistachio.
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Old 13th June 2005, 20:57   #8 (permalink)
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I will try and remember to dig out my book of such slimming foods and post the details - the author is 'a must have' in any decent kitchen!
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Old 14th June 2005, 12:55   #9 (permalink)
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Must haves in the kitchen are the following two books by Vefa Alexiadou - the Delia Smith of the Eastern Med!
1- Greek Pastries and Desserts ISBN 960-85018-7-3
2 - Greek Cuisine ISBN 960-85018-6-5

Available in English
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Old 14th June 2005, 13:54   #10 (permalink)
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Thank you Rob, my mum & dad live in Greece (Corfu) so even when I go there I don't get away from the stuff, I love it, but it's so full of calories. We always buy it on our last day on holiday (loads of it) and eat it by the pool [:0] heaven

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