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Recipe Edition: Lebanese Baklava Recipe

Ingredients

For the Dough

2 phyllo packs, 9″x14″ sheets, room temperature

¾ cup ghee

For the Simple Syrup

1 cup granulated sugar

¾ cup water

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon orange blossom water

For the Walnut Mix Filling

3 cups raw walnuts medium grind in food processor

½ cup granulated sugar 

Directions

For Simple Syrup

To prepare the simple syrup, blend water, sugar, and lemon juice in a small saucepan placed over medium-high heat. Allow the mixture to reach a boiling point, then lower the heat to a simmer. Stir intermittently, ensuring the sugar fully dissolves and the mixture thickens while maintaining its transparent hue. If the colour caramelly you’ve gone too far. This process typically takes around 5 minutes. Once done, remove the saucepan from heat, add the orange blossom water, and let it cool down to room temperature as you prepare the rest. Tip: you make the simple syrup a day ahead to save time.

For Walnut Filling

 In a large bowl, mix the granulated sugar with walnuts that have been ground to a medium/fine size using a food processor.

For Baklava Assembly

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan with ghee.
  2. Unroll the phyllo sheets carefully. Each pack usually has about 20 sheets. Using a pizza roller cut the stacked sheets to fit into a 9x13 baking dish. They can be cut slightly larger than the dish because it will shrink in the baking process.
  3. Lay one stack of 30 phyllo sheets in the pan. Spread the walnut mixture evenly over the phyllo dough. Lay about 15 phyllo sheets (the rest of your sheets) over the walnut mix.
  4. Cut the baklava into whatever shape you like. You can do diamonds or squares. I find squares are easier to cut. Using a sharp knife carefully cut into the layers trying your best to make sure the phyllo dough stays in place so that it looks nice after it’s baked.
  5. Pour the melted ghee evenly over the baklava. Allow it to settle in for about 5 minutes.
  6. Bake until golden brown for about 50 minutes.
  7. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately pour the cooled simple syrup evenly over the baklava. You can garnish every piece with a bit of ground pistachios. Allow to cool at room temperature for several hours before serving.