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RECIPE: Bistrova Baklava

First off you will need something similar to this:
Mini Chopper
Otherwise you're in for a LOT of Elbow Grease for the nuts. The above is the chopper I have and use, a great little gadget.


Ingredients:

One Package of Phillo Dough (Found in your grocer's freezer department)
1 bag Pecans
1 bag Almonds
(optional: 1 bag Hazelnuts and 1 cup of Walnuts -- if you use walnuts just toss in a few, they will over power flavor and are bitter nuts a cup no more of Walnuts)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup of drawn butter (Melted) or One bottle of spray Margarine
1/2 cup of Honey
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 tsp cinnamon

Prep:

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
350 degree Fahrenheit = 176.67 degree Celsius

Using your chopper (or massive amounts of elbow grease) super finely chop all the nuts with the cinnamon. Pulverize the nuts into almost a fine powder, the finer the chop the nicer mix of flavor. Chopping with the cinnamon makes sure the nuts are nicely coated with the spice. Set aside.

Pull out a nice 9x13x2" pan (Glass is nice to use) Butter the pan thoroughly.

Lay in eight (8) sheets of Phillo Dough, making sure to brush drawn butter on EVERY LAYER before you add the next. Phillo dough is paper thin and very dry. Leave it in the fridge until you are ready to use it and use it quickly or else it dries out into a very brittle state and it breaks while trying to layer it. The butter makes sure the dough bakes nicely. Make sure you butter every layer.

after the first base eight layers are in the pan, sprinkle a layer of your nuts on top. About 1/8 inch thick. Butter the nuts.

Lay in four more layers of dough and then another layer of nuts... don't forget the butter!

Lay in another four layers of dough and another layer of nuts... this should polish off your nuts and again don't forget the butter!!!

Use the dough that's left... You'll have about eight sheets left. Again butter every layer of Phillo dough. This is your top layer. The bottom and top layers should be about 8 sheets thick, the middle layers 4 sheets thick. With me so far?

Good.

Use whatever butter you have left and just pour it over your baklava.

Now it's time to CUT. You cut it BEFORE you bake. You can cut in squares or triangles. Baklava is traditionally cut into triangles Just cut into squares and then use diagonal cuts to make the triangles.

PLACE in OVEN for about 45-50 minutes... watch it close. When it starts to turn a dark golden brown it's done and take it out don't let it burn!


THE SECRET of Baklava! Sticky Sauce!

While your dish is baking it's time to make the sauce.

Boil water and sugar together
Once it's boiling add in the honey and vanilla and bring back to a boil.

Let it simmer on a low heat after you bring it to a boil for about 20 minutes. It will get nice and sticky.

You will spoon/ladle on the sauce IMMEDIATELY when you take the Baklava out of the oven (It will sizzle nicely) make sure everything is coated evenly with your sauce, the dough will soak up the mixture so don't worry if you have a little puddle of it forming on the bottom of your pan. just make sure you get all the edges coated evenly, you'll use all the sauce, trust me, it'll all get soaked up.

You're done!

Let the baklava cool on the counter for a couple of hours and it's ready to eat... DO NOT EVER COVER YOUR BAKLAVA, it will go soggy. Baklava should never be covered (Unless you're toting it to a party, but uncover it after you get there.) The honey is a preservative, this can sit on your counter at room temp uncovered for a week or more without it spoiling, no worries. It won't dry out either. This does not need to be refrigerated, it'll break your teeth cold! Leave it room temperature.

ENJOY! This is my version of our Macedonian Family Holiday Tradition, I've tweaked the recipe into this little easy make gem.
(Take it to a potluck at work and you come home with a CLEAN PAN)

Don't pay $15.00 for 5 pieces of this lovely Mediterranean sweet at the market/bakery.
You can have a whole pan full for that much! ~_^

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Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
beechan2
Jan. 1st, 2006 03:55 am (UTC)
that sounds DELISCIOUS! *slobbers*
Sadly I don't have a chopper, but I've found tossing nuts into a thick baggie and crushing with a meat pounder works just as good, though takes longer.

*adds your entry to my LJ bookmarks*

~~Bee
fablespinner
Jan. 1st, 2006 03:58 am (UTC)
That Chopper is under $10 at like Walmart/Target

Worth every penny


^_^
babspace
Jan. 1st, 2006 04:36 am (UTC)
*pulls out Cuisinart*

Will be adding this one to my memories. Our local Greek Orthodox church sells it on Town Day and their annual summer festival. I can barely get through one piece, it's so sweet, but I'd still prefer to make it myself.
fablespinner
Jan. 1st, 2006 04:42 am (UTC)
It's so easy it's not funny and it's SOOOOO expensive to buy at a bakery, it's more cost effective to make it yourself and you can tweak it easy.

^_^
jo_mako
Jan. 1st, 2006 05:51 am (UTC)
if it weren't for the nuts I'd be in this stuff like a bad rash....but it looks simple enough and I can at least touch most nuts without worrying about death. Dad loves this stuff.
(Deleted comment)
luckykitty
Jan. 1st, 2006 07:23 am (UTC)
UHNNNN
happy NEW YEAR
fieryopal
Jan. 1st, 2006 08:15 am (UTC)
they beat me to it!
but i'm going to say it anyhow, HAPPY NEW YEAR!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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