Sweet Pastry (Baklava)
Baklava is a Near- and Middle-Eastern dessert. It is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of Yufka / Filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and sweetened and held together with honey syrup. It is characteristic of the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire, but is also found in Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Southwest Asian cuisines.
450 gram (g) blanched almonds or walnuts (or a combination of both), finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
500 g yufka / filo pastry (puff pastry) ***
300 g unsalted butter, melted, for brushing yufka / filo pastry
For the Syrup
230 ml water
300 g sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
strip of lemon zest
300 ml honey
Preheat oven to 160° C. Combine nuts, sugar, and cinnamon. Place 8 sheets of yufka / filo pastry, one at a time, in the bottom of a non stick baking tray (in the suitable size), brushing each sheet with melted butter.
Sprinkle top sheet generously with the nut mixture and cover with 2 buttered pastry sheets. Again sprinkle with nut mixture. Continue adding buttered pastry sheets, sprinkling every second sheet with nut mixture, until all nut mixture is used. Place remaining sheets on top, buttering each sheet.
Cut Baklava into small rectangular pieces with a sharp knife. Place a shallow pot of water on the lowest shelf in the oven. Place Baklava on the middle oven slide above the water and bake for 120 to 150 minutes, or until golden, making sure that the water pot is always filled.
While Baklava is baking, prepare the syrup:
Combine water in a saucepan with all ingredients except the honey. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Add honey, and simmer another 5 minutes. Remove lemon peel and let it cool.
Remove the Baklava from the oven and pour cool syrup over the hot pastry.
*** Yufka / Filo is a kind of very thin unleavened dough used for making pastries such as baklava and börek. You can buy it in every supermarket on the island.