Bakhlava



This recipe is from my sister-in-law, Aditi who made it last weekend. I have been planning on making this since a long time - the filo sheets are in my freezer - but haven't been able to get down to it. But the yummy recipe of Bakhlava is here.

Bakhlava


Filo (also "phyllo") is an extremely thin pastry dough. You can find filo in the frozen section of most grocery stores near desserts and pastries. Filo is sold rolled in 1 pound boxes of 20-30 sheets, and will keep for months in the freezer. Defrost it overnight in the refrigerator. Avoid defrosting at room temperature as the sheets will stick to one another. Filo dries very quickly in open air. When using filo sheets, cover the rest of sheets while working on one. Since most recipes using filo use butter/margarine to layer inbetween, its useful to have a good pastry brush to bruch quickly and layer.


FiloDough

Preparation Time: 50-60 min
Cooking Time: 50-60 min
Makes about 35-40 pieces

Ingredients:

For Syrup
3 cups water
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp rose water

1 (16 ounce) package filo dough
1 1/2 pound chopped nuts (walnuts, pistachios)
1 1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 tblsp ground cinnamon


Method:

Make Syrup

Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Add vanilla and honey. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Take off the flame and add rose water. Cool.

Make Pastries

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F(175 C). Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9x13 inch pan.
  2. Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon and 2 tblsp sugar. Set aside.
  3. Unroll filo dough. Cut whole stack in half to fit pan or fold the sheet on the corners(folding on a different side each time so that it is not too thick just on one side).
  4. Place two sheets of filo in pan, buttering thoroughly in between the layers. Repeat until you have 8-9 sheets layered. Cover remaining filo with a damp cloth to keep from drying out as you work.
  5. Sprinkle 2-3 tblsp nut mixture evenly on top. Top this with 2-3 sheets of filo, buttering in between. Add a second layer of nuts followed by filo and continue this process till you have about 8-9 sheets left. This will be the last or top layer of filo. Depending on the number of sheets you want to use you can increase / decrease the layers of filo in between. Only the top and bottom layers have to be thick - atleast 8-9 sheets. Based on the number of layers, the quantity of nuts would have to be changed.
  6. Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. You may cut into 4 long rows the make diagonal cuts.
  7. Bake for about 50 min until baklava is golden and crisp.
  8. Remove baklava from oven and immediately pour syrup all over it ensuring you cover the whole pan. Let it cool uncovered in the refrigerator overnight. This solidifies the bakhlava well.

Tips

  • Chop the nuts properly. If the nuts are thick the top layer will not stick properly. You can even pulse the nuts in a food processor taking care you don't powder them.
  • The sauce should be cool when you pour it, else the bakhlawa will become soggy.


General Filo Handling

  • Allow Filo dough to thaw in refrigerator overnight. Bring to room temperature before using.
  • Carefully unroll Filo sheets onto a smooth, dry surface.
  • Cover Filo completely with plastic wrap, then a damp towel.
  • Keep Filo covered until needed. Do not leave uncovered for more than one minute to avoid drying out.
  • Microwave butter until melted. This will give you a lighter and flakier pastry.
  • Brush each layer of Filo with melted butter, margarine or oil.
  • To prevent edges from cracking, brush edges first and then work into center.
  • Be sure to brush the last layer of Filo with melted butter.
  • Fillings should be chilled and not excessively moist.
  • Filo may be rolled and refrozen to store when not in use.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bakhlava looks real yummy. I have the recipe. Will try it soon.