Yiayia’s Baklava


Oven: 175º. Approx. 45-60 mins baking time.

Bring 500 g phyllo pastry (1½ packet) to room temperature. Cover with a slightly dampened tea towel while you work with the pastry to prevent it drying out.

Mix in a bowl:
2 cups almonds finely chopped
2 cups walnuts finely chopped
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
¼ cup caster sugar

Melt in another bowl:
½ cup unsalted butter
½ cup margarine
(or 1 cup Devondale Extra Soft salt reduced)

Brush a large oven tray with melted butter.

Then, to that tray, lay out:
4 layers of pastry, each layer brushed with melted butter.
Sprinkle with a fine spread of nut mixture.
Then add 2 layers of pastry, each layer brushed with melted butter.
Sprinkle with nut mixture.
Repeat until nut mixture is finished.
5 layers of pastry on top of last layer of nuts. Lots of melted butter on the last sheet.

Cut into parallelograms. Do not cut through the 4 bottom sheets. (Push a whole clove into the middle of each piece).
Sprinkle with water before placing in pre-heated oven (a Greek blessing, but also it helps the pastry crisp without curling)

Syrup (make as soon as tray is put into oven):
3 cups caster sugar
2 cups water
juice from one lemon (or ½ cup glucose syrup)
rind of one lemon
Bring to the boil slowly while stirring. Boil rapidly for 5 mins. Allow to cool.

Pour syrup onto the hot baklava as soon as it is taken out of the oven.

Allow the baklava to absorb the syrup completely and to cool down. The baklava will be at its best 2 days after making it. It can sit, covered, at room temperature for several days.