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The first step is to make the honey syrup, this can then cool while your Baklava is cooking. Add the honey, water and sugar into a saucepan and bring to a boil while continuously stirring. Once the sugar has melted, leave to boil on a medium heat for 5 minutes and then move to one side to cool.
Measure your filo pastry ready for the Baklava verses the size of baking tray being used – you will need a size that is about 30cm x 20cm and 6cm deep, cut the filo pastry to size and cover with a damp tea towel to keep the pastry moist.
Brush some melted butter onto the based a sides of the baking tray. Lay one sheet of filo pastry at a time buttering each one as you go, layer 8 sheets. Mix the ground walnuts and cinnamon together and sprinkle 1/4 over the pastry.
Layer 4 more sheets buttering each one as you go and then add another 1/4 of the nut mixture – repeat so you have 4 layers on the nut mixture. Layer the last 8 sheets of filo pastry – again, buttering as you go finishing the top layer of pastry with a coat of butter too.
You can cut the Baklava any way you desire, the traditional is diamonds. Cut 3 lines making 4 rows down the length of the tray. Then cut diagonally across to make diamonds.
Place in the oven at 160 degrees and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Check every 5 minutes after 1 hour to ensure cooked, leave slightly longer if required and take out when the pastry is golden and crispy.
Pour the syrup over the Baklava straight away while it is still hot – you should here the sizzling. Leave to set for 4 hours – allowing the syrup to soak through the pastry before serving.
Filo Pastry will dry out very quick – ensure you keep the damp tea towel over the pastry as much as possible while making your Baklava.
For this recipe, I use walnuts but why not try experimenting with different options such as pistachio or even fruits – I am working on a nice nut free Baklava made with fruits – and maybe a hint of coconut!