Layers of paper thin phyllo dough. Sweetened pistachios. A drizzle of cinnamon honey syrup. It’s baklava, one of the most delicious desserts you’ll ever experience. Baklava scares people. One, because they don’t know what it is half of the time, and two, because those sweet layers of finicky dough seem impossible for the everyday cook to master. Traditionally, layer upon layer of individual phyllo is buttered and placed in the pan to build the base and topping for this flaky treat. It can be extremely tedious. Because of the delicate nature of the dough, it can break apart and be ruined before you can complete your baklava. It’s important to handle the dough correctly and have your melted butter and the nut filling ready in an assembly line set up. Once you experience this delicious baklava, you will want to make it all the time. Make it Mary by rolling the dough to create the many flaky layers you’ll need with far less stress.
Mary’s Rolled Pistachio Baklava
For the syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup honey
2 cups water
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick(or 1 tsp cinnamon)
Can be made a day ahead. Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about an hour. Stirring occasionally. When finished it should be reduced to a maple syrup consistency. Let cool. Place in a liquid measuring cup for easy pouring over the finished baklava.
For the filling:
2 cups of pistachios (any of your favorite nuts can be substituted here)
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in food processor and pulse to break down the nuts to a coarse chop. Set aside in a bowl for your assembly.
1 16 oz package of frozen phyllo dough(thaw over night in the fridge)
2 sticks of melted butter
brush for melted butter
two damp towels
several sheets of plastic wrap
8×12 baking pan
a knife to cut the rolls into pieces before baking
Arrange your filling ingredients in an assembly line. Phyllo, butter, and nuts. You will need to protect the dough from drying out after it is opened from the package. Lay a damp towel on the counter and cover with plastic wrap. Open your phyllo, unroll and place on the plastic, cover with another sheet of plastic and then another damp towel. This arrangement will keep the phyllo safe while you are assembling. You will have to cover the dough back up in between layers in order to protect it from drying out. Place one sheet on the counter and brush with melted butter. Fold over top and bottom edges of phyllo to fit the width of your pan. (8in) Take another sheet of phyllo and bunch/scrunch it up to fit onto the first flat sheet. The bunching creates additional layers that you don’t have to work for! The idea is to get the bunching sheet to fit onto the flat sheet. Brush layer with butter. The butter will attach the layers together. Place another bunched layer and also brush with butter. You should have three layers buttered together. Now sprinkle the sheets with about 2 spoons of filling spread evenly over the sheet. Roll the baklava up like a log and brush with butter to seal the end of the roll. Place in the pan and brush with butter. Continue building your baklava logs and place them in the pan right next to each other no space in between. Once your pan in full, using a very sharp knife cut across the logs to get bite size pieces. Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool. Once cool, pour the syrup all over the baklava and let sit. The pastries will soak up the syrup in about 15 min. Enjoy!