Ghee-infused baklava with honey, mixed nuts and orange blossom water
Take a captivating journey through time and savour the incredible flavours of a historic Lebanese delicacy with this ghee-infused baklava recipe. Passed down through generations, this version pays tribute to the traditional nut-filled pastry, taking it to new heights by incorporating the richness of ghee. Each layer of delicate filo pastry, brushed with melted ghee, embraces a delightful mix of nuts, complemented by a subtle hint of cinnamon. This ghee-based baklava, created by the talented Estelle Rose, embodies the cherished traditions passed on from generation to generation.
Preheat your oven to 180°C. Grease a rectangular baking dish with some of the melted ghee.
In a bowl, mix together the chopped nuts and ground cinnamon. Or if you have a food processor, crush the nuts together with the cinnamon until small but not fine or powder.
Unroll the filo pastry sheets and cover them with a clean, damp tea towel to prevent them from drying out.
Place a sheet of filo pastry in the greased baking dish, allowing the excess to hang over the sides and then cut them off. Brush the sheet with melted ghee using a pastry brush. Add another layer of filo and brush with ghee. Repeat this process until you have 4 layers of filo on the base.
Spread a few tablespoons of the nut mixture evenly over the filo pastry.
Continue layering 4 sheets of filo pastry to one layer of nuts, brushing each layer of filo with melted ghee, until you have used all the sheets.
Layer the top of 4 filo pastry sheets, brushing each layer with melted ghee. Finish by brushing the top generously with ghee.
Using a sharp knife, cut the baklava into diamond or square shapes, and make sure you cut through to the bottom.
Bake the baklava in the preheated oven for about 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
While the baklava is baking, prepare the syrup. In a saucepan, combine the maple sugar, water, and cinnamon stick. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove the syrup from the heat and stir in the orange blossom water. Set aside and let it cool.
Once the baklava is baked, remove it from the oven and pour a few tablespoons of the syrup on top. Your syrup must be cooled down here or the filo pastry sheets will go soggy.
Let the baklava cool completely in the dish, allowing it to absorb the syrup.
Once cooled, pour the remaining syrup into the dish and allow it to set.
You can sprinkle some crushed pistachios or rose petals on top for a sweet and floral essence before serving.
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