Thursday, December 22, 2011


I received this recipe from a family that owned a Greek restaurant in town.  It has become a Christmas family tradition.  Don't let this intimidate you.  It is really not that difficult. 

1 lb. filo pastry sheets (40 sheets) - thaw according to package directions
1 lb. butter, melted (4 sticks)

3 cups ground walnuts and 1 cup chopped walnuts, mixed together
2 TBS sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

3 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 slice of lemon (I use 1 tsp lemon juice)
1 stick cinnamon (I use 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon)

1 cup honey

Make the syrup first so it has time to cool.  Bring sugar, water, lemon and cinnamon to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the honey and bring to a boil again.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Put a drop on your thumbnail, if it doesn't roll off easily, it is done.  Cool.

Mix the walnuts, sugar and cinnamon together.   Divide the nut/sugar mixture into 9 piles on your work surface. 

Melt the butter.  Brush the bottom of a 9x13 pan with melted butter.  Line the bottom of the pan with a sheet of filo.  Brush with butter.  Add 3 more sheets, brush each sheet with butter.  Once you have 4 buttered sheets in the bottom of your pan, sprinkle nuts over the top.  Cover with 4 more filo sheets (butter each sheet).  Sprinkle with nuts.  Continue with 4 buttered sheets and a sprinkling of nuts until all are used up except the last 4 sheets.   Now, top with the last 4 sheets, brushing each with melted butter as before except for the top sheet. You don't want to butter the top sheet because your knife will stick to it making it difficult to cut.  

(See diagram below).  Cut lengthwise to make 1 1/2" wide strips.  Then make diagonal cuts 2 inches apart.  After cutting, now carefully brush the very top filo sheet with melted butter.   If you have any remaining butter left over, pour over the top.  (I don't usually have any leftover because I butter each sheet generously). 

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until deep golden brown.

When golden brown, remove from the oven.  Immediately, pour the cool syrup over the top until all the syrup is absorbed.   Let cool and cut through again to allow the syrup to be absorbed.

I think this tastes best if you let this sit for at least 24 hours and serve at room temperature.

** Remember:  9 piles of nuts - Use 4 sheets of dough for each layer.  Butter the top layer after it has been cut.


1 comment:

  1. I just had a piece of baklava with a cup of tea. Delicious!