Here’s a simple version of baklava. It’s a no fuss version when you just want to throw a few ingredients together to make a sticky sweet treat.
It’s rustic – meaning I was more interested in the taste then the look of baklava – but taste wins out on visuals if you’re short on time.
My version uses half the ingredients, with only one layer of nut filling in between the two filo layers. For a more traditional baklava, double the ingredients and make two nut layers in between three filo layers.
50g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
60g unsalted butter, melted
Half of a 375g packet filo pastry
110g caster sugar
30ml lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C fan-forced.
To make the syrup, combine the sugar, honey and 90ml water in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 3 minutes, then set aside to cool.
To make the filling, process the walnuts in a food processor until reasonably finely chopped – you don’t want big pieces but you don’t want a nut paste either! Add the sugar and cinnamon and pulse to just combine.
Using a pastry brush, grease the base and sides of an 18cm x 28cm slice tin with butter.
Unroll the filo on a large chopping board. Keep filo covered with a clean, slightly damp tea towel to prevent the sheets drying out. Brush the first sheet with butter, then place it in the tin. Repeat until you have used half the filo sheets. Scatter the nut mixture over the sheets.
Brush the next sheet with melted butter and layer on top of the mixture. Repeat with the remaining sheets. Press the layered filo gently to compress slightly. Brush the top well with melted butter.
Place the baklava in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm to make it easier to score. Using a small sharp knife, score the top few layers of filo into diamond shapes. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cover the top with foil if the filo looks like it’s browning too quickly.
Remove the tin from the oven, and while still hot, pour the honey syrup over the baklava in the tin. Leave for a couple of hours or until the syrup is absorbed, and baklava is cool.
Using a sharp knife, cut the baklava into pieces along the score lines. It keeps well, covered, in the fridge for a week, if you can resist that long!