30 Minute Baklava Recipe!

Hello My Feasting Friends!

Ask people from any Middle Eastern country where Baklava originated, and they will all claim to have invented this popular dessert. It is widely believed however, that the Assyrians at around 8th century B.C. were the first people who put together the concept of chopped nuts between layers of thin bread dough in layers, with honey added for sweetness. Historically baklava was considered a food for the rich until the mid-19th century. Later, Greek seamen and merchants traveling towards Mesopotamia soon discovered the delights of Baklava and brought the recipe to Athens. The Greeks’ major contribution to the development of this pastry is the creation of thin phyllo (or filo which means leaf in Greek) to replace the original bread-like dough. They called the dessert Baklava. The Armenians, who had access to spice routes, integrated cinnamon and cloves into the dessert.  Then, the Arabs introduced the rose-water and cardamom, and called the dessert Baklawa. You can say this dessert is a beautiful and collaborative effort among many Middle Eastern cultures. My contribution is streamlining the method of making this treat so you can enjoy it more regularly! It literally takes me less that 30 minutes to assemble this confection you see below: 

IMG_9921

This version uses a combination of walnuts and pistachios, but you can use any kind of nut–cashews and peanuts also work particularly well, though they are usually ground into a finer meal. Brushing melted butter on every other sheet of phyllo dough not only reduces time in making baklava, but you also use about 1/3 cup less of butter. And feel free to douse this confection with only half of the syrup, while putting the rest into a small pitcher so that each person can add more if they wish, or none at all if they don’t like it cloyingly sweet. I had so much fun making this dessert for my mother in the video below.  I would love to know…what is your favorite baklava filling? Let me know in the comments below!

 

  • Ingredients (Directions and method in video above)

  • 3   cups chopped pistachios, walnuts or cashews coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup confectioners or icing sugar
  • 1 tbs. melted butter
  • 1 ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 pounds of phyllo dough (one package)
  • 2 cups of melted butter that has been cooled slightly (or rendered butter if you have the time or some in stock)
  • 13 by 9  casserole dish
  • Lemon scented Attar (syrup)
  • 2  C. sugar
  • 2 c water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 cloves
  • Combine water, cinnamon stick, cloves and lemon peel in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat slightly, add lemon juice. Stir with a spoon until the mixture coats the spoon. Let cool. Remove peels and cinnamon stick. Let cool at least 10 minutes before topping baklava.

2 thoughts on “30 Minute Baklava Recipe!

  1. My whole family loves your recipes. Is there a transcript for the directions and method? (hubby wants to try this one without me 🙂 Thank you again, for making these delicious dishes.

    1. HI Mona–generally I give the method to my Patreon Supporters for every recipe as a thank you for helping me fund these productions: https://www.patreon.com/feastinthemiddleeast And I will be releasing a cookbook next year with detailed instructions 🙂

      But since your hubby wants to try it without you, here you go:
      Preheat oven to 350 degrees

      Let the package of phyllo defrost in your refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight. Mix together the nuts, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg then set aside.
      Grease the casserole dish with butter. Open the package of phyllo dough, and spread out to the full rectangular size. Cut it in half right down the middle. One side will be the bottom layer, and the other side will be the top layer. Cover each side with a damp towel to keep it from drying. For the bottom layer, take two layers of phyllo from half the dough and lay it down in the casserole pan. Brush with entire top with melted butter. Repeat until you have finished the entire half of the dough.Then spread the nut mixture evenly over the dough. Layer the rest of the phyllo sheets on top, making sure to brush butter between every other layer. With a sharp knife, cut into squares or diamond shapes. Bake the baklava for 15 minutes, then decrease the oven temperature to 325, and bake for another 40 minutes or until browned. Pour the cooled lemon scented attar evenly over the surface. For syrup,
      Combine water, cinnamon stick, cloves and lemon peel in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat slightly, add lemon juice. Stir with a spoon until the mixture coats the spoon. Let cool. Remove peels and cinnamon stick. Let cool at least 10 minutes before topping baklava.

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