Flaky Baklava

May 04, 2021

Flaky Baklava

As our head chef, Alida, explains it, if handmade baklava comes to you as a gift, it means the highest honor and respect. Making baklava from scratch is a laborious process, especially with the layers and layers of paper-thin phyllo dough. These days, most people make baklava from store-bought phyllo because of the convenience. It is still delicious and will surely impress your guests. It’s sweet, nutty, and flaky, and the tartness of the raisins helps balance out the sugary syrup.

Makes 24 pieces

1 cup (2 sticks/225 g) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan

1 pound (455 g) walnuts

3 cups (600 g) plus ¼ cup (50 g) granulated cane sugar

Zest of ½ lemon

1 pound (455 g) phyllo dough (24 phyllo sheets), thawed (when buying store bought phyllo dough look for the one that is #4 thickness and 14x18 in like this one from the Fillo Factory)

½ cup (80 g) golden raisins

1 lemon, sliced

3 tablespoons honey

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter a deep 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) baking pan that has sides at least 2 inches (5 cm) deep. (If you use a smaller pan, just cut the phyllo sheets to fit.)
  2. Pulse the walnuts, ¼ cup (50 g) of the sugar, and the lemon zest in a food processor until finely chopped. You should end up with about 4 cups.
  3. Cut the twenty-four phyllo sheets in half crosswise. You should have forty-eight sheets that measure about 9 x 14 inches.
  4. Lay fourteen phyllo sheets in the pan, then spread about 2/3 cup (85 g) of the walnut mixture and about 1½ tablespoons of the raisins on the top sheet.
  5. Place four more phyllo sheets on top, then add the walnuts and raisins as in the previous step. Repeat this step four more times, ending with fourteen phyllo sheets on top.
  6. Melt the butter and pour over the baklava.
  7. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until golden brown.
  8. Combine the remaining 3 cups (600 g) sugar, the lemon, and 2 cups (480 ml) water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook over medium-low heat until it reaches a syrup consistency, about 15 minutes. Add the honey, stir to combine, and remove from the heat.
  9. Remove the baklava from the oven, pour the hot syrup over it, and let it rest.

Keep uncovered until it cools to room temperature, then refrigerate until serving.

  1. Before serving, cut with a sharp knife into twenty-four squares (six lengthwise by four widthwise) and serve at room temperature.

Tag us on Instagram @balkanbitesnyc and let us know what you think! Our balkava is the perfect dessert after our savory Burek. Head on over to our Shop to order some Burek for the perfect feast.

Balkan Bites is a female and family owned business that specializes in wholesome Southeast European comfort foods such as Burek, a flaky stuffed phyllo swirl. With our dedication to premium ingredients and authentic recipes, we aim to make our cuisine accessible to all.

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