The Shahrouks - Baklava
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
1 ½ cups white sugar
¾ cup cold water
½ tsp rose water
½ tsp orange blossom water
¼ tsp lemon juice
3 cups finely chopped walnuts
½ tsp powdered cinnamon
½ tsp grated nutmeg
1 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar syrup
1 tsp orange blossom water
1 tsp rose water
20 sheets of filo pastry
½ cup ghee, melted
1 small handful of finely chopped pistachios, to garnish
1. Preheat oven to 160C. Grease a 20cm x 30cm rectangle baking dish with some ghee.
2. For the sugar syrup, place all the ingredients into a medium sized saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 7-8 minutes. Skim off any foam as this may cause your syrup to become cloudy. Cool to room temperature. Store syrup in clean glass jars for later use.
3. For the filling, place walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, 4 tablespoons of sugar syrup, rose water and orange blossom water in a bowl and stir until mixture sticks together. Set aside.
4. Unfold filo pastry and cut the 20 sheets to the size of the baking dish.
5. Place 1 sheet on a board and brush with ghee. Place another sheet on top and brush with a little more ghee. Repeat until you have 10 sheets in a stack. Fit into the base of the baking dish.
6. Spread nut mixture over filo, spreading it to the edges of the dish and press in gently.
7. Take the remaining 10 sheets of filo and as before, brush each with ghee and layer on top of each other. Place on top of the filing and gently press down to seal and remove any air bubbles.
8. Using a sharp knife cut squares or diamonds, 5cm x 5cm. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
9. Remove from the oven and while still hot, pour over remaining ¾ cup of cold sugar syrup, ensuring to cover all the baklava.
10. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios and chill to set.