Friday, May 25, 2012

64. Baqlawa

Baqlawa, or baklava, is of disputed origins. Mostly the claim lays between Turkey and Syria.
In any case, there are as many varieties of baqlawa as there are varieties of apples (if not more).
In my trip to Istanbul, I had an out-of-this-world pistachio and orange rind baklava...
Baqlawa is a dense and syrupy dessert consisting of wafer-thin crispy filo pastry leaves, layered and encompassing a rich nutty filling.
This recipe is adapted from the Iran section of Tess Mallos' The Complete Middle East Cookbook.
Only almond is used in this baqlawa, but I have come across pistachio, walnut, and even cashew versions.


For the baqlawa:
3 cups ground almonds
1 cup chopped or slivered almonds
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cardamom
10 sheets filo pastry
3/4 cup melted butter

For the syrup:
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp rose water
1 tsp orange blossom water


To make the baqlawa:
Heat the oven to 355°F.
Combine in a bowl the almonds (ground and chopped/slivered), sugar, and cardamom.
Stir to evenly distribute.
Brush the baking dish with butter.

Assemble the baqlawa using this arrangement (brushing with the melted butter each individual filo sheet):
3 sheets filo
a third of the nut mixture
2 sheets filo
a second third of the nut mixture
2 sheets filo
the last third of the nut mixture
3 sheets filo

Score the baqlawa into diamond shapes after having placed and buttered the final filo sheet.
Pour the remaining butter and swirl around.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

During he baking, make the syrup:
Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan.
Dissolve, and bring to boil.
Add the lemon juice and cardamom, boil lightly for 15 to 18 minutes.
Remove from heat, add the rose water and orange blossom water.
Set aside until baqlawa is baked, then pour over it.

Cover the baqlawa with a kitchen cloth and let rest for 2 hours at least before consumption.
Store covered at room temperature, do not refrigerate.

 صحة و عافية


Sarah Emara said...

Salam, is the filling moist enough to stick the top and bottom layers together?

Maryam Mohammed said...

Wa al-Salam, Sarah. The sugar in the filling will melt just enough to stick the layers above and below oit very well. Other than that, don't forget to brush between all the other layers generously with melted butter.

Anonymous said...

Dear Maryam
Your blog is AMAZING. You should do a book!!!!!
I tried your bamia - they were so authentic!

Maryam Mohammed said...

Thank you so much, that's so kind of you!
I'm glad the bamia worked out for you because until I decided to blog it, it used to be "some of this" and a "dash of that" so I had to get the measurements down right. Now I follow the recipe and it works every time.