Recipe: Mama’s Baklava
When thinking of a recipe to share for Mother’s Day, we couldn’t go past the Greek classic – Baklava. Sweet and crunchy, this popular Greek dessert is the perfect treat to make with Mum. And who better to give us their tried and tested recipe than the Greek Ladies Philoptochos Society of St George Brisbane. A special thanks to Angela Tumini and Emilia Christoforou for sharing their processes and expert tips with us. We hope you have fun making this recipe and we would love to see your creations. Share your baklava photos on Facebook or Instagram and #thegreekclub.
- 1 packet of Filo Pastry
- 1 cup melted butter for brushing over pastry
Almond Mix Ingredients
- ½ Kg coarsely crushed almonds
- ½ cup caster sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Dash of Vanilla essence
- 3 cups caster sugar
- 2 cups water
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Star anise and cloves to taste
- Prepare your baklava the night before. Start by preheating your oven to 180 degrees. Then grease a small baking tray with butter and set aside.
- To prepare the almond mix, combine your coarsely crushed almonds, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla in a mixing bowl
- Then for the casing, take one sheet of filo pastry and lay it out flat on your work surface. Brush the top of the filo with melted butter, then add a second layer of filo over the top and brush with butter. Repeat this process until you have seven layers of filo stacked with melted butter between each layer and on top of the final layer
- Place 1 cup of the almond mix in a line across the short end of the stacked filo
- Fold the stacked filo pastry over once from the short end to cover the almonds
- Then place another ½ cup of almond mixture in a line along the fold you just created
- Starting from the end where you placed the almonds, roll the filo tightly all the way to the end
- Brush the top of your Baklava roll with melted butter and place on your greased baking tray. Repeat this process until you have used up all your filo pastry and almond mix.
- Depending on the desired size of your baklava pieces, cut your baklava rolls into 4-6 pieces on the diagonal. Only cut about halfway through the roll, you will cut through completely once the baklava is cooked
- Place your baklava into the preheated oven and cook until golden brown
- Carefully remove your baklava from the oven and cut through each piece of baklava where you made the half cuts before cooking. Handy tip: use a flat griddle scraper, like you would use for a barbecue, to get a clean cut
- Cover the tray with a tea towel and allow your baklava to cool overnight
- To make the sugar syrup, add the water, sugar, lemon juice and spices to a saucepan and bring to the boil. Then turn down to a very low heat and leave the syrup to simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally
- Pour the syrup over the baklava, making sure to coat each piece evenly. Then allow the baklava to sit, giving it time to soak up all the delicious syrup
- Once cool, remove any remaining cinnamon, star anise and cloves from the top of the baklava and you’re ready to serve! Kali Orexi!
Want to change it up? Why not try traditional Poura instead. You will the same almond mix and syrup as the Baklava, but the magic difference lies in the filo.
- To make Poura, lay down one ½ sheet of filo on your work surface and brush with melted butter. Then layer one ¼ sheet of filo in the centre of the first sheet of filo. Brush this top layer with melted butter as well
- Spoon 1 Tbsp. of the almond mix in a line across the short end of the top layer of filo
- Fold in the long sides of the filo in towards the centre, then starting at end where you placed your almond mix, roll the filo tightly all the way to the end to form a cigar shape. Brush the top of the Poura with melted butter and place on a greased baking tray
- Repeat until you have used all your filo and almond mix
- Place the Poura in the oven at 180 degrees and cook until golden brown
- Remove the tray from the oven and repeat steps 12 to 15 from the Baklava Method. So simple and a great variation!