To Sigara “Rolled” Baklava

I promised I would blog about my most recent baklava experience and since I made it over a week ago I felt that I should finally share. Not to mention a package arrived today from Turkey that I’d been waiting on. Oh wait  I guess I have not shared with you all that I will be leaving for Turkey for 7 months on May 31st!!!!!!! So excited! You could say I am obsessed with all things Turkish and am elated and anxious and super pumped all rolled into one to be in the beautiful country of Turkey for 7 months (:

June, July and August I will be in the capital city of Ankara at a language institute and from September-January I will be in the bustling city of Istanbul at university! It is gonna be absolutely amazing and completely worth the waiting game that has constituted my life for the past couple of months with getting everything in order for my time abroad.

Thus, come June my blog may take on more of a travel spin, but I am hoping to still be able to share recipes with you all as well…so here goes another baklava recipe – different from my other one

Not to mention my whole Turkish class plus two Turks gave this stuff the thumbs up (:

Ingredients: (makes 32 – adapted from Baking Obsession)

Baklava:
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup walnuts
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
8 phyllo sheets (yufka in Turkish)
8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Syrup:
½ cup water
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup honey
2 cinnamon sticks
lemon peel of 1 small lemon, removed in wide strips with a vegetable peeler
 

Directions:

Baklava:
Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 325F. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat. Set aside.
In a bowl of the food processor, combine the nuts and sugar. Process until finely ground. Stir in the ground  cinnamon. The more finely ground the better.

Cover a working surface with a large sheet of parchment paper. Place 1 sheet of phyllo on the parchment paper, with one long side parallel to the edge of the work surface. Cover the rest of the phyllo with plastic wrap first and then with a damp dish towel (avoid direct contact of the phyllo with the wet towel to prevent the phyllo from getting soggy). Phyllo usually has plastic wrap in it, so you can use this if you don’t have saran wrap on hand or if you want to be greener (:
Using a pizza wheel or sharp knife, cut the phyllo sheet into 4 equal rectangles making two perpendicular cuts through the middle.

Work with one small rectangle at a time; place it with one long side parallel to the edge of the working surface. Visually, divide the rectangle into thirds lengthwise. Brush the middle third with a little bit of melted butter and sprinkle with about 1/2 tbsp of nut mixture.

Brush with butter

 Sprinkle with nut mixture

Fold the upper third over the filling, then brush this folded part with a bit of butter and sprinkle again with another 1/2 tbsp. of nut mixture.

Fold the lower third over the filling

Brush with butter

Sprinkle with nut mixture

Fold the lower third over the filling and lightly brush with butter. Gently roll the strip, buttered side up, into a cylinder and place it onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining phyllo. You will get 4 baklava fingers from each phyllo sheet for a total of 32

Bake for 15-17 minutes until golden brown. Watch carefully, you don’t want the baklava to burn.

Cool on the baking sheet on a cooling rack.

Syrup:

Meanwhile, make syrup. In a small heavy saucepan, combine the water, sugar, honey, cinnamon sticks, and lemon peel. Bring to a boil over medium heat and simmer, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the sugar is dissolved. Take off the heat and stir in the brandy. Transfer the baked and cooled fingers into a rimmed baking pan (like glass Pyrex) just large enough to fit them all.

I like to stand the fingers upright first to allow the syrup to penetrate better, and then drop them on their side. Pour the hot syrup over the fingers leaving the peel and spices behind.

Give the fingers a turn in the syrup to saturate, wait for several hours before serving.

If you have any nut mixture left, sprinkle it over the fingers before serving. They can be kept in air-tight container for about a week (but chances are it won’t last that long).

Cheers to international desserts

n

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