Oupah! Authentic Baklava Recipe from a Greek Green Diva

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authentic green baklava image on the green divasAs the result of my recent post, Save the Honey Bees, Save the Baklava, I’ve gotten a lot of requests for my baklava recipe, so here is an authentic baklava recipe straight from my Greek family’s recipes. My yiayia used to make her own phyllo dough, and as yummy as it is, I find it just as tasty (don’t tell her that) to use pre-made. Even though I am familiar with this particular style of baklava, there are many cultures around the world (Lebanese, Turkish, Albanian, etc) that also make this sweet treat with their own variations. Some roll it in the phyllo dough, others make it int tight little rolled triangles, and some even create a spiral wreath. So without further ado, break a plate, throw on some bouzouki rebetika music and shout out one last Oupah for good measure. Here is how to make some pretty brilliant baklava.baklava ingredients

 

Authentic Baklava Recipe from a Greek Green Diva
Serves 30
Green Diva Gina's authentic family recipe for Baklava - yum
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
35 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
35 min
For the baklava
  1. 1 lb. of chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, or pistachios are best, or use a combination of them)
  2. 1 lb of phyllo dough
  3. 1 cup of butter, melted
  4. 1/3 cup of sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  6. 1/3 teaspoon of ground cloves
  7. (Some people add a dash of vanilla)
For the syrup
  1. 1 cup of water
  2. 1 cup of sugar
  3. 1/2 cup of honey
  4. 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (That’s the trick!)
  5. 1 cinnamon stick
For garnish
  1. finely ground pistachios
Instructions
  1. Lightly grease a 9×13 pan and set the oven to 350°F.
  2. Thaw the phyllo dough according to manufacturer’s directions (this may take overnight). When thawed, roll out the dough and cut the dough in half so the sheets will fit in the pan. Cover with a damp towel to keep it from drying out.
  3. Process the nuts until in small, even sized pieces. Combine with sugar, cinnamon, and cloves. In a separate bowl, melt the butter in the microwave.
  4. Place a sheet of phyllo dough into the pan. Using a pastry brush, brush the phyllo sheet with melted butter. Repeat 7 more times until it is 8 sheets thick, each sheet being “painted” with the butter.
  5. Spoon on a thin layer of the nut mixture. Cover with two more sheets of phyllo, brushing each one with butter. Continue to repeat the nut mixture and two buttered sheets of phyllo until the nut mixture is all used up. The top layer should be 8 phyllo sheets thick, each sheet being individually buttered. Do not worry if the sheets crinkle up a bit, it will just add more texture.
  6. Cut into 24 equal sized squares using a sharp knife. Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes or until lightly golden brown, and edges appear slightly crisp.
  7. While baking, make the syrup. Combine the cinnamon stick, sugar, lemon juice, honey, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium low heat and let simmer for 7 minutes and slightly thickened. Remove the cinnamon stick and allow to cool.
  8. Spoon the cooled syrup over the hot baklava and let cool for at least 4 hours. Garnish with some finely crushed pistachios of desired.
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About the author / 

Green Diva Gina
gina@thegreendivas.com'

Green Diva Gina (aka Gina Gioldassis) is fondly referred to as the “Happy” Booker & Foodie-Phile Editor. She was producing and hosting the Eco-Radio show at Drew University when we met her, and we were thrilled that she chose to come work with us after she graduated. Having been brought up in New Hampshire in a Greek family, she is a natural food explorer and enthusiastic green diva. Previously, she worked as a production intern for both WNYC's Soundcheck and New Hampshire Public Radio's All Thing's Considered. While not in the studio, she spends her time traveling, eating, doing yoga and working full-time as a finance writer. At the moment, aspires to one day master her grandmother's homemade doughnut recipe.

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5 Comments

  1. haunpamela@aol.com'
    Pamela Haun August 11, 2013 at 10:14 am -  Reply

    Thank you for your Baklava recipe, we have added almonds & walnuts (roasted to remove flaky covering which is bitter, never occurred to me to add pistachio! This is going to be an excellent batch.

  2. Conradcleasby@yahoo.com'
    Baklava nut September 30, 2013 at 2:53 pm -  Reply

    I have been a baklava fan for more than 40 years.
    The best combinations include almonds, pistachios, walnuts and hazel nuts.
    But for the greatest treat of east meets west, or north meets south, serve 3 pieces of baklava with 1 scoop of Hagendazs macadamian nut brittle, 1 scoop of vanilla I’ve cream.
    Peace on earth.
    Check with your doctor before hand, or use in extreme moderation.
    Enjoy.

  3. suekendall89@yahoo.com'
    Sue K. June 4, 2014 at 10:04 am -  Reply

    My son and I made this recipe for his school project on Greece, and it was SO delicious! We used both walnuts and pistachios. Thank you for an easy-to-follow recipe that came out exactly as I hoped it would! I had found several baklava recipes online, but I am very glad I chose this one.

  4. jennifer.leigh.santos@gmail.com'
    Jen June 16, 2014 at 3:53 pm -  Reply

    I made this recipe for my Greek boyfriend’s birthday in lieu of cake and his family loved it. I’ve made it since, and I’ve had people tell me that it’s the most perfect baklava recipe they’ve tasted. I also made mine with roasted pistachios and walnuts and it has so many levels of flavor. The fresh lemon really is the trick though! It cuts the sweetness from the honey and gives it a unique flavor. It’s a time consuming process, but the reward is AMAZING!

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