July 11, 2010

 I love baklava.

In high school I had a good friend who was Greek and her mother made wonderful baklava. We’ve since lost touch, except for a day last summer when she friended me on facebook and unfriended me on facebook in a 24 hour period. Funny, huh? When we were friends her mother even gave me a recipe but  I never made it.

I never made this either.

This baklava was made by my friend who came over in the spring and made cookies with Meeshie and me. She loves to cook and she is very talented. But Cathy is in  Florida with her husband and three boys right now for a much needed vacation.

Before she left she made this baklava and shared it with me. I’m sharing this recipe with the disclaimer that I’ve not made this, yet. But I’ve eaten enough baklava to know what I like. And I really like this recipe.


  • 1 1/4 C Butter
  • 3 1/2 C Sugar
  • 1 1/2 C Water
  • 2 T Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • Rind from one lemon
  • 3 C Walnuts
  • 1 1/2 t Cinnamon
  • 1/8 t cloves
  • 1 Package (16 oz) phyllo dough, thawed in refrigerator

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Brush a 13×9 baking dish with butter, set aside.  In a medium saucepan combine 3 C sugar, lemon juice, water, cinnamon stick and lemon rind.  Bring to a boil.  Remove the cinnamon stick and lemon rind, reduce heat; simmer until sugar dissolves and mixture is syrupy; about 10 minutes.  Set syrup aside. 

In a food processor, pulse the walnuts with cinnamon, cloves and remaining sugar until finely ground.  Set walnut filling aside.

Place stack of thawed phyllo sheets on a work surface.  Using a sharp knife, trim stack into 13×9 rectangle; discard trimmings.  Place 1 sheet in prepared baking dish.  Make sure to keep the remaining sheets covered with a damp cloth or paper towel.  Brush gently with melted butter.  Repeat with two more sheets of phyllo, laying each on top of the other.  Sprinkle the 3-sheet stack of buttered phyllo with 1/3 C walnut filling.  Repeat with seven more buttered phyllo stacks, sprinkling each layer with walnut filling.  Top with more stack; brush generously with butter.  Using a sharp knife, cut unbaked baklava into 24 squares.  Bake until puffed and golden, 30-35 minutes.  Transfer pan to a wire rack; pour syrup over baklava.  Let stand at room temperature until syrup is absorbed, at least 3 hours. 

If a phyllo sheet tears as you work, simply patch it together with melted butter, saving full sheets for top and bottom stacks.
As soon as I’m done making yellow cake for the piano cake and Oreo cupcakes, I’m going to make this!


  1. I’ve never made Baklava, but I’m willing to try! This recipe looks easy enough. Wish me luck.

  2. I’ve never tried this before but it looks stunning and sounds delicious. I love to try this over the weekend 🙂
    Thanks for sharing,

  3. Kathy-
    Good luck!

    I hope you enjoy it.

  4. I made this today. I had tearing of the dough and started to get frustrated. I would suggest that you do not throw out the scraps that you cut off from trimming to fit the pan. I used them to patch where needed. It was a much smoother process from there.

    • Thanks Kathy! I’ll keep that in mind and also ask my friend Cathy what she did with her scraps. I can’t wait to make it. How was it?

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