• Prep Time:
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  • Serves: 1 Servings


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Category: Desserts

 Ingredients List

  • 500 g Strudel dough; (or fillo
  • -leaves)
  • 500 g Unsalted butter; well
  • -melted. Salted
  • 500 g Walnut meat; chopped medium
  • -fine
  • 50 g Sugar
  • 5 ml Vanilla; (or use vanilla
  • -sugar)
  • 1 l Sugar
  • 500 ml Water
  • 5 ml Lemon juice


1. Heat oven to 150 øC to 160 øC .

2. Make the syrup first. Boil the water and sugar for 15 minutes. Add lemon
juice, boil 10 more minutes, set aside to cool.

3. Make the filling: Mix all ingredients well. I prefer the walnuts fairly
coarse; some people like them quite fine.

4. Cut the dough with scissors to the size of the tray. Handle the dough
very carefully; do not press hard on it at any time. Cover with wax paper
and damp towel.

5. Take out one sheet of dough at a time and place it in the pan. Brush the
dough with melted butter between each layer. Continue until you have about
12 sheets buttered. Small and broken pieces of dough can be used in the
center, but there must be butter between every two layers.

6. Spread walnut filling across the tray.

7. Put on a sheet of dough, brush on butter, and continue until all the
dough is used up.

8. Cut into diamond shapes: cut into quarters with cuts parallel to the
long axis, then cut diagonally across. Don't press hard!

9. Bake for about 1 1/2 hour, until golden brown. Be careful not to burn
the bottom or the walnuts, especially with a glass pan.

10. Let cool on rack for 5 minutes. Add syrup which should have cooled to
room temperature. Let cool for at least two hours before eating.

Author's Notes: Baklava is claimed by almost every Balkan state as its own
invention; most people in the United States first encounter it in Greek
restaurants. If the truth were known, it's probably the Turkish who
invented it, as is the case for many other ``typically Greek'' dishes. This
recipe comes from my Bulgarian grandmother, and follows Bulgarian
tradition, in that the filling is very simple.

Probably the hardest thing about this recipe is waiting those last two
hours! Depending on where you go, you'll hear the name of this dish
pronounced different ways. I pronounce the name with all /ah/ sounds, with
accents of equal intensity on both the first and third syllable. The second
syllable is quite faint. Greek-speaking persons typically put a heavy
accent on the second syllable. Many variations on the filling are to be
found. A simple one was mentioned above, regarding the coarseness of grind
of the walnuts in the filling. They may even be ground. Spices such as
chopped cloves or cinnamon may be added, and the filling may be included in
several layers instead of just one. A large pan is almost too big to
handle. I typically make this recipe in two pans, which is just about the
size of a half sheet of the dough I buy. By the way, if you can make your
own strudel dough, it will be even better ... but much more effort. It is
best to have a partner help you prepare the pans. One person handles the
dough and places it in the pan, while the other applies the butter. It is
very important that sufficient butter be placed between layers so that each
layer gets flaky, rather than having them stick together. Pay particular
attention to the edges and corners. In case you haven't noticed, this is
very sweet stuff. It goes great with a fine cup of coffee, espresso, or
Turkish coffee, even with sugar. Two pieces will probably fill anyone up;
it refrigerates and freezes quite well. This recipe requires a lot of
effort, but it's well worth it.

Difficulty : moderate to hard. Precision
: measure the ingredients.

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