Saturday, November 27, 2010

Turkish Almond Walnut Plum Baklava

This is such a delicious Turkish dessert!  Of all desserts, Baklava is one of the ten best in my book.  Just buy some pre made phyllo dough.  It is a lot easier than trying to make some from scratch. 
     Baklava recipe:  Melt some unsalted butter. 
     Fine chop some almonds and walnuts together.  Add cinnamon and sugar to the nut mix. 
     Chop some dried plums. 
     Cut phyllo sheets into fourths of equal size.  (About 8"x8" square size).  Keep the phyllo sheets covered with a dry towel while you make this dessert so they do not dry out. 
     Butter a baking pan. 
     Lay a phyllo sheet on a board and brush with butter on both sides.  Lay the buttered phyllo on the baking pan.  Butter the second phyllo sheet and place on top of the first sheet.  Do 8 layers of sheets this way total.  This will be the base of the baklava. 
     On top of the 8th layer, sprinkle some of the nut mixture on the phyllo. 
     Place two more buttered phyllo sheets on top of the nut mixture layer. 
     Place the chopped dried plums on top of those two phyllo sheets. 
     Place two more buttered phyllo sheets on top of the plums and top with the nut mixture. 
     Repeat alternating nut mix and two buttered sheets of phyllo till you run out of the nut mix.  (About 5-8 layers) 
     To complete the top of the baklava, butter 8 sheets of phyllo and place each of them on top of the stack of phyllo.  The baklava should look like a tall layered stacked square in the baking pan. 
     Using a sharp wet knife,  gently trim the edges to make the baklava square with even straight sides.  Cut the square baklava into four triangles or squares before baking.  Leave the pieces next to each other without moving them in the pan.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes. 
     While the baklava bakes make this syrup:  Use a 50/50 proportion of sugar and water.  Add a squeeze of lemon juice.  Add generous amount of honey.  Boil the syrup mix over medium heat till it thickens enough to coat a spoon.  Let the syrup cool to room temperature. 
     When the baklava comes out of the oven, immediately spoon the syrup on the edges and sides of the baklava.  (Do not pour the syrup over the top of the baklava!  That will ruin it!) 
     Let the baklava set at room temperature for 4 to 8 hours till all the syrup is absorbed and soaked up by the pastry. 
     After this is done, use a spatula to set a piece of baklava on a plate and get ready for a very nice tasting dessert!  Some baklava has fruit in it and some have only nuts.  This is a very tasty combination of fruit and nuts in my recipe!  If you take the time to make this dessert correctly then you will be looked upon as a pastry chef by dinner guests!  Baklava is an impressive dessert. ... Shawna

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