Baklava

Country of origin: Ottoman Empire?

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Having eaten more than my fair share of these so-sweet-you’ll-need-to-see-your-dentist nutty pastries of Filo/Phyllo drenched in sugary rose syrup, I decided it was time to eat more. This is not for the faint-hearted: there is an obscene amount of  sugar and butter involved, but you only have a few small pieces at a time…

The recipe called for 18 sheets of Filo/Phyllo pastry which is pretty fragile stuff. It needs to be kept covered and used quickly before it dries out, due to the lack of fat.

Making this dish is lots of fun as it’s all about brushing layer upon layer of pastry with melted butter, throwing in chopped pistachios (and/or walnuts) with sugar and ground cardamon midway and then layering with yet more buttered pastry. Next, it needs to be lightly scored and baked for about 50 minutes. Meanwhile, you can make the syrup: sugar, water, flavoring (I used rose water) and lemon juice. Once the baklava is out of the oven, pour over the syrup and cool before cutting.

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