BEST MADE 5 – 7 DAYS BEFORE!!!
I suppose the most well known Middle Eastern pastry. Make the syrup first and chill.
Ingredients (about 50)
500g filo pastry (my favourite is JR Feuilles de Filo Pastry from Ocado/Waitrose)
100g butter, melted
500g pistachios (or walnut/almonds or a mix, I prefer pistachios)
sprinkling of cinnamon
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp rose water (or my own crazy thing – a couple of drops of pure essential geranium oil – a sharper hit than rose oil & cheaper!)
3 cardamom pods
6cm long cinnamon stick
50mls honey (runny)
Sometimes I add a tsp of vanilla paste
1. Make the syrup. Place all syrup ingredients except geranium, vanilla & honey (whichever you’re using) & bring to boil. Simmer for 10 minutes until slightly thickened. Take off heat & add honey, geranium or vanilla. Stir, cool then place in fridge.
2. Heat oven to 180C (160c fan).
3. The dish. I use my brownie pan that measures about 33cm by 23 cm (13×9) or a rectangular glass dish with roughly the same measurements. Grease it, then layer 6 sheets, one at a time, brushing each with the melted butter as you go along, letting the edges come up slightly.
4. Spread half the nuts evenly over the sheets. Cover with 6 more sheets the same way, repeat with remaining nuts, finishing with final 6 sheets.
5. Using a sharp knife, cut the bakhlava into the traditional diamond shapes.
6. Bake for about 30-40 minutes till light golden.
7. Remove from oven and pour the COLD syrup evenly over the bakhlava, concentrating on the slashes. I use all the syrup up – hey it’s supposed to be moreish!
8. When cool. cover with foil and keep for a few days before serving.