These incredibly rich, gooey, sweet pastries are definitely not for diabetic people or anyone on a diet, I am warning you. HOWEVER, they are delicious and a little piece of them goes a long way which makes them ideal to share with a group of friends. They are made with  layers of buttered filo pastry and contain lots of chopped nuts. What holds them together is honey or syrup. So you can imagine the high number of calories that these little beauties possess. Even an hour of Zumba I am not sure would be able to shift them. Anyway, the inspiration to make baklavas came from my holiday to the Greek island of Paxos, back in September, where they seemed to be sold everywhere (Oh happy, sunny days! If only I could be back there. Autumn is definitely upon us now :-(….). I understand, however, that they are Turkish in origin. Making baklava was also one of the challenges on one of the episodes of the Great British Bake off programme, which has just finished. So I had to have a go, didn’t I? The recipe I used came from the BBC Good food website, slightly adapted. I checked other recipes online and they all seem to be very similar. Unlike in the GB Bake off competition I most certainly did not make my own filo pastry. Come off it!  Life is too short for that! Anyway, they were very nice and made some colleagues at work happy.


18 sheets ready-made filo pastry (unwrap and keep under a damp tea-towel until you are ready to use)- approx 2 packets.

225g/8oz unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing

225g/8oz mixed pistachios, almonds and walnuts, roughly chopped

2 tbsp granulated sugar

1 tsp ground cardamom

For the syrup

300g/12oz granulated sugar

50 gr honey

300ml/10½fl oz water

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp orange blossom water (I used rose water)


1.Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

2.Grease a 17cm x 28cm (11in x 7in) baking tray with butter.

3.Melt the remaining butter in a saucepan over low heat or in a microwave.

4.Lay 7 sheets of filo pastry, one at a time, into the tray, brushing each sheet with butter before adding the next.

5.In a clean bowl, mix together the nuts, sugar and cardamom and spread half of the mixture over the pastry in the tray.

6.Lay another 4 sheets of filo pastry on top then spread the remaining  mixture. Then layer the remaining 8 sheets on top of the nut mixture, brushing each sheet with butter, as before.

7.Using a sharp knife, cut a criss-cross pattern into the top layers of the pastry. It is very important you do this before you bake it as it will be impossible afterwards as it will be too flaky.


8.Place baklava in the preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes, then decrease the oven temperature to 150C/300F/Gas 2 and cook for an additional half hour to 40 minutes, or until the pastry is slightly puffed and golden on top. Do not allow the top to burn. Remove and allow to cool slightly.

9.For the syrup, heat the sugar, water, lemon juice and orange blossom or rose water in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook over a medium heat until the sugar has melted and a syrup is formed. (This will take about 20 minutes or so.)

10.Pour the syrup into the slits in the baklava and leave to cool. Cut into small diamond-shaped pieces and serve.

just out of the oven

just out of the oven

Related posts:

4 Responses to “Baklava”

  • Meraviglia! Ho giusto un pacchetto di pasta fillo nei freezer ma non un granché di tempo per farla! :(
    Ci sono un sacco di varianti deliziose tra Turchia e tutto il Medio Oriente… Bravissima!
    (tanto per compensare la mia maionese vegana)

  • Ok la farò per domani, ma una curiosità: come hai fatto a fare tutti quei tagli così regolari? hai misurato con un metro oppure hai un occhio eccezionale?

  • Nonostante continui a non aver occhio, continuo a ripetere, magari con minime variazioni, questa tua ricetta. Anche oggi per la festa dei compleanni. E’ una delizia. E poi mi ricorda Istanbul <3

Leave a Reply