Friday, May 29, 2009

Sweets for the Sweet : Baklava with Mary

It's been half a year or more since these pictures were taken and I don't know why it's taken me this long to share them, but here they are now.

For many many reasons I am truly lucky to have Mary as a close friend. In addition to all the help she's given me in the kitchen, she's just a swell person. I adore her. From time to time she and I meet online on weekend mornings for cooking projects. Most of the time it's bread, but we've done some other stuff too, including our King Cakes and this Baklava.

I'd taken the book The Olive and The Caper out from the library and fallen in love with 3/4's of the recipes. The recipe and variations of the baklava interested me - the only history I have with the sweet is buying the occasional piece from the Middle Eastern market we stopped at once in a while when we lived in Calgary. But it sounded like fun and not too hard, and Mary thought the same so in the fall we made baklava together - her on the East coast of the US, me on the West coast of Canada.


Below is the ground walnuts and almonds mixed with cinnamon and melted butter.


The filo is brushed with melted butter and stacked in the baking dish, then layered with the ground nuts. I'm pretty sure I cheated and did fewer layers than I was supposed to so I wouldn't have to go buy more filo.


After the layering is complete, use a sharp knife to cut the dish into diamonds.


And then bake until golden and crisp. But don't taste yet, it's not done! You have to make your syrup to pour over the top. I made the coffee syrup from the book as it has no alcohol and some of my co-workers don't drink. I think Mary made her syrup with orange liqueur.


Then you must wait at least a couple of hours to allow the syrup to soak into the layers.


I was pleasantly surprised at how...authentic this tasted. And it wasn't difficult either. I took some to work to share the next day and it was gone within minutes. A couple of people even asked what store I'd bought it at!


Gorgeous, gorgeous. Make sure you really love Baklava or have lots of people to share with, this will get soggy within a few days.

13 comments:

Peter M said...

Sarah, that's a fine looking Baklava...as good as any I've seen in shop windows!

For storage, a cool & dry container and NEVER in the fridge.

Baking Soda said...

I love baklava and yours certainly looks authentic, the diamonds you sliced are so tidy!! Great fun to bake it together.

Cindy Khor said...

very very tasty looking, crispy on the outside and soft in the inside..

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Really!! You do make it look easy Sara. The stuff is so good ... I'd probably eat the entire pan.

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nath said...

It's like pastry? It's combine of crispy and smooth inside, perfect :)

Natashya said...

It looks so professional! Great job.

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Debinhawaii said...

Your baklava looks so perfect and professional! I have that cookbook and love it but have never tried the baklava recipe.

Bellini Valli said...

It's wonderful to have friends with whom you have so much in common. Your baklava would be a truly decadent treat:D

breadchick said...

Oh Sara. I'm just as blessed to have you as my close and dear friend too!

Every time I eat a piece of baklava, I think of our baking time. 'course remember I said I'm never playing with phyllo dough again but seeing these pictures makes me want to make it again.

Hugs and kisses my dear,
Breadchick Mary

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