Baklava with mint tea

Actress Nadia Sawalhas fragrant filo and nut pastries bring back childhood memories of downtown Amman with their hints of rose water and orange blossom water
Baklava with mint tea
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 20-25
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the syrup

  • 450 g granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 1 tsp orange flower water

For the filling

  • 350 g shelled pistachio nuts, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp rose water
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom

For the pastry

  • 250 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 450 g packet filo pastry

For the mint tea

  • bunches mint leaves, washed
  • 2 tsp loose Moroccan-style green tea leaves
  • sugar, to taste

Method

1. For the syrup: bring 300ml water, the sugar and lemon juice to the boil in a medium saucepan. Do not stir, but keep it bubbling for about 4-5 minutes.

2. Add the flower waters and set to one side to cool.

3. For the filling: mix the ingredients together in a bowl, cover and set aside.

4. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and butter a 30cm x 28cm baking tray.

5. For the pastry: unwrap the pastry and keep it under a damp towel - this is really important because the pastry can quickly dry out. Lay one sheet of pastry in the tray and brush it with butter. Repeat this until you have used half the packet and don't press down (so that the pastry can puff up).

6. Scatter the filling all over the pastry. Repeat the buttering and layering of the remaining pastry until its all used up. With a sharp knife, cut into diamonds or squares.

7. Bake for about 20 minutes, then increase the temperature to 220C/200C fan/gas 6 and cook for a further 10-15 minutes until puffed and golden-brown.

8. Pour the syrup on gradually while the pastries are still warm as you may find that you don't need it all. Eat hot or cold.

9. For the mint tea: put a large bunch of mint leaves in a warmed teapot. Add the green tea, pour over boiling water and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Add sugar to taste and serve in small glasses with the baklava.

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