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Monday, September 17, 2012

BAKLAVA

Preparation time:- 20 minutes
baking time:- 1 hour 25 minutes
Makes:- 28 to 30 pieces
Baklava:- 



Baklava is a rich,sweet pastry featured in many cuisines in the area once controlled by the Ottoman Empire in Central Asia and in the Middle East.It is made of layers of fillo pastry sheets and coarsely ground nuts/chopped nuts such as walnuts,pistachios,almonds or cashews and flavored in a variety of ways.One of the most critical ingredient in Baklava  that gives it a rich flavor is melted butter or clarified butter.Baklava comes in a variety of shapes and sizes.The traditional diamond shape is popular ,but i like square shape.Baklava serves well with just about anything,if your are a sweet lover.One important aspect of Baklava is that it has a relatively long shelf life even exposed to open air.Initially it looked difficult to me but its not,first time when i tried making ,it turned good but i was not happy with the upper layer as it was coming off, then? One of my friend and one Greek friend of friend of mine guided me ,thanks to both of them for taking time out and giving me some respected guidance. Still the upper layer was the problem,then i experimented by pressing it gently with my fingertips and sprinkled little bit water on the top layer all over before placing it into the oven and it worked well, hurraye. So this recipe is dedicated to my friends who guided me.

Ingredients:-
1)Pampas Fillo pastry packet one number(375gm)
2)Walnuts 1 cup +1/4 cup
3)Pistachios 1 cup
4)Almonds 1 cup
5)Bread crumbs 2 tablespoons
6)Sugar 2 tablespoons
7)Cinnamon Powder/crushed 1/2 teaspoon
8)Cloves 1 teaspoon(with tip crushed,this tip you can add in to the nut mixture,and the cloves we are going to use to press on each piece before baking ,this is totally optional,i have not used it)
9)Butter 1 block(275gm)+1/4 cup
Ingredients For Syrup:-
1)Sugar 3 cups
2)Water 3 cups
3)Lemon juice 1 teaspoon
4)Cardamom powder 1/2 Teaspoon(optional)
Method:-
1)Coarsely grind walnuts,pistachios and almonds in a mixer grinder
2)Mix all the dry ingredients together that is groundnuts and bread crumbs,cinnamon powder,crushed clove tip(Optional)and sugar, mix thoroughly.
3)Preheat the oven on 160° Celsius.
4)Grease the Baking tray with melted butter(Take the pan according to the size of the Fillo sheets or you can trim the pastry sheets according to the size of baking pan/tray either way is fine.).
5)Lay 5 Fillo pastry sheets one by one on tray brushing each with the butter(Refer the pictures).and the remaining sheets keep covered with the damp cloth so it won't rip.
6)So after the 5th pastry sheet,spread the walnut mixture on the Fillo sheet.Place the sheet on the top of it and brush gently to avoid ripping of the fillo sheet.
7)Repeat this until all finished,brush butter on last sheet on top.
8)Hold the tray tight and with a little pressure cut it in triangles,squares or diamond shape with a sharp knife.
Leave the butter in the cutting edges.(Refer the picture).
9)Press the top layer gently with the help of your fingertip and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water all over on the top layer,before placing it into the oven.
10)Press in the clove on each triangle or square.(Optional)
11)And bake on 160° Celsius, on middle rack on fan- forced function or static function, i baked for 1 hour and 25 minutes OR till it becomes brown in color, keep an eye while baking it.(Adjust the cooking timings according to your Oven power)
12)While the Baklava is baking in the oven,mix the sugar and water in a vessel and boil it to form the sugar syrup for 15 to 20 minutes or the desired consistency reached,add in the lemon juice give it a stir and turn off the heat.(Refer the pictures for the consistency of sugar syrup).
13)As soon as the baklava is ready baked, remove it from the oven,and immediately pour the cooled sugar syrup onto hot baklava all over. Leave it uncovered for minimum 4 to 5 hours for a rich taste.
14)Garnish with Pistachio powder.      
                                                               ENJOY!

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