DISH: ALGERIAN BAKLAVA
CONTRIBUTED BY: Ferroudja Menhoek, Algerian Citizen
Ingredients (Makes 80-88 small pieces)
1 1/2 pounds walnuts, chopped
1/4 pound pistachio nuts
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
40 sheets Athens Fillo Dough, thawed
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 cup honey
1 lemon peel
Combine walnuts, pistachio nut, sugar, cinnamon and cloves.
Brush 12″ x 16″ baking pan with butter.
Overlap 8 sheets on bottom of pan, buttering each sheet as you place in the pan, covering the bottom. Sprinkle with 1/3 of walnut mixture.
Overlap 8 more buttered fillo sheets on top. Spread 1/3 additional walnut mixture over the fillo. Overlap with another 8 buttered fillo sheets and the remaining walnuts.
Finish baklava by overlapping the remaining 16 sheets, buttering the sheets as you fit them in the pan.
With a sharp knife, score fillo into 1 1/2″ diamonds or squares. Brush with remaining butter. Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until golden brown.
Cool slightly and pour warm syrup (recipe below) evenly over baklava.
Cool completely, cut and serve.
Syrup Bring all ingredients to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and cool slightly.
General fillo dough handling directions
Allow fillo dough to thaw in refrigerator overnight. Bring to room temperature before using.
Carefully unroll fillo sheets onto a smooth, dry surface.
Cover fillo completely with plastic wrap, then a damp towel. Keep fillo 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 fillo 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 fillo with melted butter.
Fillings should be chilled and not excessively moist.
Fillo may be rolled and refrozen to store when not in use.