Foodie Monday: Baklava – not quite right

We’ve been watching The Great British Bake Off again. These episodes have Pru with Paul instead of Mary Berry. They are carried on Netflix instead of the BBC. One of the episodes featured the bakers making the Greek pastry dessert, Baklava. I’m no stranger to this yummy dessert, as my mom used to make it at holiday time. We’re not Greek but love yummy food! I’ve made it in the past but it’s been some years since my last batch.

Coincidentally, I had just ripped a recipe for Baklava out of one of the cooking magazines we get in the mail. Between seeing the show and having a new recipe for the dessert, I had to make some. So, that is what I did on Saturday afternoon. The recipe I used came from a recent copy of the All Recipes magazine.

There were a few things about this recipe that I noted to be different. One was that it used mixed nuts. I’ve used walnuts before, but come to find out the nut to use is pistachios if you are making it the “Greek” way. The other thing I noted to be different in this recipe was that you made a sugar-water concoction and added honey to that, cooking it down until it was thickened. Hmmm…..I don’t ever remember doing that before. My inner voice told me it was strange and I should have listened!

I proceeded anyway. The filo dough was hard to find – being out of stock in my usual grocery store. This delayed my making the recipe by a day or two – so my preparation was strung out. Ingredients were strewn over the kitchen counter for several days and I chopped the nuts at least eighteen hours before I cooked the pastry. Cinnamon was also hard to come by – I got the last package of it in the grocery store brand because it was all that was left!

The filo dough was typically hard to work with, which of course, I had forgotten. But, it wasn’t too bad. The nut and cinnamon mixture looked and smelled good. Butter? Well, yes. There’s a lot of butter in baklava to provide lamination between the sheets of filo dough. It’s not exactly a healthy dessert.

With the pan constructed, I cut it into squares instead of diamonds this time. The recipe said I could do either. Usually, I cut diamonds. I baked the pastry until it was golden brown. While baking, I made the sugar-water concoction. Definitely odd. And, I think this was the downfall of the pastry.

My baklava is tasty….but, something is not quite right about it. It doesn’t have enough honey flavor and the base, although cooked, absorbed a lot of the syrup so it is more watery than gooey. It’s been done since Saturday afternoon. I’ve only had two pieces. I think I’ll go on a hunt for my mom’s baklava recipe because this one…well, it’s not quite right.

2 thoughts

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