Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I made the baklava for the church bake sale that I wrote about earlier and being that health conscious I thought it's only fair that the person that is going to buy it gets a healthful or health conscious dessert too.
Not wanting to go wrong with the baklava in any way, I thought I should make a small batch for me and friends to try first and adjust the sweetness or tartness according to what my tasters think.
I gathered their impressions and proceeded to baking the baklava that would be just right !
It is not necessarily hard to make, it is tedious and requires a little bit of patience when it comes to the assembling part.
I used both pecans and walnuts (2/3 pecans and 1/3 walnuts if you wish) in it as the pistachios even though really tasty would have made it look a moldy green - unappetizing.
1 package phyllo dough (16 oz)
For the Filling:
350 gr pecans
200 gr walnuts
1/2 cup splenda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 to 2 teaspoons orange zest
1 stick butter or more if you dare
spray oil, butter flavored
For the Syrup:
1/2 cup spenda
1 cup water
2 big TBSP lemon juice
3/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla or Grand Marnier
rose water, a splash, if you have
The phyllo needs to be thawed in the fridge for 6 hours or just left overnight, as rushing it or keeping it on the kitchen counter would make you end up with a sticky mess (trust me - I am speaking from experience).
Grind the nuts or process them until they become a fine powder and combine with the spenda, cinnamon, zest and any other spices you might feel like adding.
I used a nuts grinder and they looked like shredded.
Choose a baking dish (thwe right dimensions are somewhere around 10 by 14 inch or 9 by 12 - whichever you think suits you best) with rim that is at least 1 inch tall, butter it or spray it with oil both on the bottom and on the sides and set aside.
Melt the 1 stick of butter and have it close to you, along with the oil spray and the nuts mixture.
Preheat the oven to 300 F and open the phyllo package.
Think of how many layers of nuts you want to have in your baklava and divide the phyllo sheets accordingly, keeping in mind that if you 16 oz package has 2 bags inside, each bag with have between 22 and 26 sheets of dough inside.
I did it both with 3 and with 4 layers of nuts and it did not make any difference.
Now starts the fun par :
- pick up a sheet of dough and carefully lay it on the bottom of your pan, buttering it or spraying it (it does not have to be fully covered)
- lay another sheet of dough on it and butter again and do that until you have finished the number of sheets you chose
- butter and sprinkle the 1/3 or 1/4 of the nuts mixture, accorind to how many layers of nuts you are having
- repeat with dough and nuts making sure every single sheet of fine dough has been either sprayed or buttered
- you will have phyllo dough on top and you need to butter that too or spray it with butter flavored oil
- with a very sharp knife, cut halfway through the baklava and place it in the oven, on the bottom side
- cut it in diamond shapes or squares which you then cut in 2 to form triangles or cut it in rectangles
- let cook for 1 h to 1 h and 10 minutes
- during the last 10 minutes of the baking proceed with the syrup
- combine all the syrup ingredients in a saucepan and let cook on medium for 5 to 10 minutes
- taste it and adjust the taste according to your preference
- when the baklava is ready, remove, finish cutting into it and pour the syrup over aking sure you cover it evenly (I used a large spoon)
- keep it on the kitchen counter as the refrigeration process would make it tough
- supposedly the more it sits, the better it gets
Posted by Cat at 4:23 PM