Granny's Baklava

Silvena Rowe takes crisp layers of papery filo pastry, fills them with buttery nuts and douses the lot in rose and lemon scented syrup
Granny's Baklava
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 12
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes plus 2 days setting time
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

  • 400 g clarified butter
  • 500 g new season walnuts, chopped roughly
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 150 g ground almonds
  • 35 sheets fresh filo pastry, (about 2 packets)

For the syrup

  • 500 g caster sugar
  • 500 ml water
  • 5 tbsp rose water
  • 2 lemons, juice and finely grated zest

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180C/gas 4. Take a large roasting tray, about 30 x 20cm, and brush it with a little of the melted clarified butter. Set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl combine the walnuts and caster sugar and mix well. Place the ground almonds in a separate bowl and stir in all but a couple of tablespoons of clarified butter, mixing well.

3. Lay a sheet of filo pastry in the roasting tray. Sprinkle with some of the almond and butter mixture. Cover with another sheet of filo and sprinkle again with the almond and butter mixture. Keeping going until you have eight layers of filo.

4. Using about half of the chopped walnut mixture, spread a generous layer of filling over the filo. Cover with eight more layers of filo and ground almonds, alternating them as before. Follow with the remainder of the chopped walnuts and sugar mixture and press down gently.

5. Finish with eight more filo sheets layered with the ground almond and butter mixture. Butter the top layer with the reserved clarified butter. Using a sharp knife, cut the baklava into small diamond shapes.

6. Spray the baklava with water and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 140C/gas 1 and continue cooking the baklava for another 2 hours. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.

7. Meanwhile, to make the syrup, place the sugar and 500ml of water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Adjust the heat to a simmer, add the rose water and cook for about 15 minutes or until the syrup is rather thick. Stir in the lemon juice and zest and set aside.

8. When the baklava is completely cool, spoon the hot syrup over it, making sure that you cover all of the pastry with the syrup. Cover loosely, place in a dry spot and allow the baklava to settle for 48 hours before serving.

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