Pistachio blaklava with orange blossom

Posted by Mishqah Schippers on 6 November 2019

The Greeks love their syrupy desserts (siropiasta). This one combines nuts, honey and thin layers of crispy pastry. Many countries in the region make baklava, but each uses a different mix of nuts. We’ve also added orange blossom water, which pairs wonderfully with the pistachios.

If there is any baklava left, it’ll keep well in an airtight container for a week. Place individual pieces on baking paper to prevent them from sticking. Baklava can also be frozen and reheated later.

Makes 36 pieces

  • 500g phyllo pastry, defrosted
  • 2¼ cups shelled pistachios, plus ⅓ cup, chopped
  • 2¼ cups walnuts
  • 2T brown sugar
  • 1½t cinnamon
  • ½t ground cardamom
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted

Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1t vanilla essence
  • 1 cup water
  • 1T orange blossom water

Method

Preheat oven to 180˚C. Grease a 22 x 33cm baking dish. Trim the phyllo sheets to fit into the dish.

Place nuts, sugar and spices in a food processor and pulse until coarse. Pour this filling mixture into a bowl.

To assemble, sprinkle six sheets of phyllo with melted butter and layer on top of each other in the baking dish. Top with a third of the filling. Place another six buttered phyllo sheets on top and another third of the filling.

Repeat once more, using up all the filling, and top with eight buttered sheets of phyllo.

Using a sharp knife, slice the baklava into diamonds. (Slice lengthways into six strips, then cut across the diagonal.) Top with chopped pistachios.

Bake the baklava for 25 minutes, until golden and crisp. Remove, cover with foil and bake for another 10 minutes.

Simmer the syrup ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and let it cool.

Once the baklava comes out of the oven, pour over the syrup. Let it cool a bit before removing individual pieces to serve.

 

Recipes and styling by Chiara Turilli, Food Photography by Gareth Van Nelson

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