Baklava is an extremely popular dessert across the Middle East and Mediterranean countries. From Armenia to Greece, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iran, Baklava is enjoyed as a dessert during all special occasions including Eid and Christmas. Although there are different variations of baklava in different countries, it is essentially a sweet, sugary pastry stuffed with nuts. It features a thick layer of nuts such as pistachios, cashews, or walnuts, sandwiched between layers of fine phyllo pastry sheets.
Whether you’re having a festive celebration at home or invited to a party, Baklava will make an excellent sweet treat or gift for any occasion. So next time you have a gathering at your place, or want to gift a box of sweets to friend, try this easy Pistachio Baklava recipe. With both fresh and frozen phyllo sheets readily available in the supermarkets, it’s really easy to make Baklava at home. If you’re using frozen phyllo sheets, remember to thaw fully at room temperature for until they can be easily separated.
Ingredients for the pastry and filling:
400-450 gm of chopped pistachios
A pack of fresh or frozen Phyllo pastry (about 450 gm)
1 cup of unsalted butter, melted. (you can also use ghee instead of butter)
1/3 cup of caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp of ground cloves
Ingredients for the Syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 tbsp lemon juice
- Start by preparing the syrup: In a pot, add water, honey, a cup of sugar and bring it to boil. Then reduce the flame and let it simmer for few minutes to form a thin syrup. Add the lemon juice, turn off the heat and keep the syrup aside. The syrup has to be poured over hot Baklava at a later point. One of the secrets to making a good Baklava is the amount of sugar syrup added to it. It’s important to get the right balance of sweetness and nuttiness to keep the Baklava flavour intact. Too much or too little sugar syrup can diminish the flavour.
- Now preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
- In a separate bowl, combine the chopped pistachios, sugar and ground spices.
- Cut the phyllo sheets according to the size of your baking tray.
- Then generously brush the bottom of the baking tray with melted butter.
- Place a phyllo sheet inside the baking tray and brush it thoroughly with melted butter. Now place another phyllo sheet on top of it and brush with butter once again. Repeat the process with 10-12 sheets, placing them one on top of the other.
- Once you’ve buttered the last layer, add the pistachio-spice mixture and spread evenly all over the phyllo.
- Then place a layer of phyllo over the pistachio mixture, brush with butter and repeat the process again till you have 10-12 layers of phyllo over the pistachios. Now the pistachios are evenly sandwiched between the phyllo sheets.
- With a sharp knife, cut the baklava into rectangular slices or diamond shapes and pour the leftover butter on top.
- Place the tray in the oven and bake for 30-40 min, until the phyllo sheets turn puffy, crispy and golden.
- Once done, remove the tray from the oven and immediately pour the prepared sugar syrup over hot baklava.
- After the sugar syrup settles down, garnish the baklava with a generous sprinkle of finely ground pistachios.
- Wait for the Baklava to cool down completely, then gently remove the baklava pieces from the tray and serve.