Greek Baklava - Our Family's Recipe

Sweet, nutty, and flaky... The perfect dessert. Okay, we are a bit biased, but we haven't met anyone who doesn't love this recipe! It was passed down from our Great Great Grandma (Yaya) who was from Gythion, Greece. She passed it down to our Great Aunt Sylvia (who tweaked it slightly), then to our Aunt Adrienne (who tweaked it slightly again). Our Aunt Adrienne showed us how to layer this perfect pastry, and we are so excited to share the recipe wth you.

 

INGREDIENTS:

Infused Simple Syrup:

Baklava layers:

  • 1 lb. Phyllo dough
  • 1/2 lb. Butter, melted

Nut Mixture:

PREPARATION:

  1. Create the simple syrup: In a saucepan, combine 2 cups water, 2 cups sugar, 1 whole orange (cut, squeezed, and entire remaining fruit put in), 1 whole lemon  (cut, squeezed, and entire remaining fruit put in), cinnamon sticks, and whole cloves. Boil down for an hour, set aside to cool.
  2. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan and preheat the oven to 350°F. Thaw the phyllo dough according to package directions (this may take overnight). Once thawed, roll out the dough and cut the dough in half so the sheets will fit in the pan. Cover with a damp towel to keep it from drying out.
  3. Create the nut mixture: Mix walnuts in food processor until finely chopped. Mix walnut with 1 cup of sugar, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, and 1/8 tsp. ground cloves.
  4. Place a sheet of phyllo dough into the pan. Using a pastry brush, brush the phyllo sheet with melted butter. Repeat 7 more times until it is 8 sheets thick, each sheet brushed with the butter.
  5. Spoon on a thin layer of the nut mixture. Cover with 3 more sheets of phyllo, brushing each one with butter.
  6. Repeat 3 times, so your current pattern is: 8 sheets of phyllo, nut mixture, 3 sheets of phyllo, nut mixture, 3 sheets of phyllo, nut mixture.
  7. Top third layer of nut mixture with 8 sheets of phyllo, buttering in between each.
  8. Score the top before baking.
  9. Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes, until the top is a light golden brown and the edges look slightly crisp.
  10. KEY TIP: As soon as the baklava is taken out of the oven, pour the room-temperature syrup over the hot baklava. If the baklava isn't hot, the baklava can become mushy.
  11. Share with loved ones and enjoy.

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