The quintessential Greek fillo dessert.
4 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
2 cups coarsely chopped blanched almonds
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1-pound box Athens/Apollo fillo pastry
3 sticks butter, melted
6 cups syrup
NOTE: Follow syrup preparation instructions below.
Combine the walnuts, almonds, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a large bowl. Drizzle in the melted butter and combine. The mixture should be moist and mealy.
Butter bottom and sides of an 18” x 12” shallow baking pan. Place 8 sheets of fillo on the bottom, brushing each with melted butter. Spread 2 cups of the filling evenly over the fillo. Layer 4 sheets of fillo over the nuts, brushing each with butter, and spread 2 more cups of the filling on top. Repeat with 4 more sheets of fillo and the remaining 2 cups of nuts. Top the filling with the remaining fillo sheets, buttering each, including the top sheet, generously. Score the fillo into diagonal pieces. Sprinkle a few drops of water over the top pastry sheet and place the pan in a preheated 325ºF oven. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until fillo is crisp and golden.
Make syrup and let cool before pouring over pastry.
When the baklava is ready, spoon the cooled syrup over the hot baklava. Let stand for at least 3 hours before serving. Cut through the scored pieces and serve.
Yield: 15-24 servings
SYRUP: Basic syrup recipe for baklava, galaktoboureko and melomakarona.
- 4 cups sugar
- 4 cups water
- 2 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 cinnamon stick
Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat over medium heat. As soon as the sugar dissolves, add the lemon juice and the cinnamon stick. Bring syrup to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Let the syrup cool completely before pouring over pastry. Yields: 6-7 cups.