Thursday, 11 February 2010


I used to make Baklava a lot and could justify this habit by taking trays of it to work to share out. The best Baklava was, of course, that which I ate in a Kafeneon, in Methana, Greece, along with the tiny cups of thick Greek coffee. As with any holiday food or drink, it never tastes the same when you are home, but I still enjoy the act of making and eating (very small) pieces of it. It is cloyingly sweet and contains tonnes of butter to glue each delicate layer of filo to the next. Not a health food!

Makes about 24 pieces
500g Filo Pastry (about 20 sheets)
200g Unsalted Butter
350g Finely Chopped or Ground Nuts (Walnuts, Pistachios or Almonds)
500g Sugar
300ml Water
2 tbl Lemon Juice
2 tbl Orange Flower water
  • Pre-heat the oven to 160/325/Gas 3
  • Butter the sides of a baking tray, ideally about 30x20cm, 6cm deep.
  • Layer half of the filo pastry (10 sheets)in the bottom of the tray, buttering each layer as you go.
  • Spread the nut mixture evenly over the layered pastry, then continue to butter and layer the remaining sheets of filo. Butter the top layer.
  • Cut into small squares or diagonally into lozenge shapes.
  • Dissolve the sugar into the water and lemon juice and simmer until thickened enough to coat a spoon. Add the Orange Flower Water (optional). Chill syrup.
  • Bake the Baklava for 45 minutes and then turn the oven up to 220/425/7 and bake for a further 15 minutes.
  • Pour the cold syrup over the hot Baklava. Allow all to cool and then eat, small pieces at a time, it's very sweet!


  1. I used to love eating that in Greece - and the ones we called Dougals - kataifi I think. That takes me back a few years!

    Pomona x

  2. This looks so good-I can't believe you make this! I'm not sure I would attempt it.

  3. Baklava....hmmmmmmmmm (say in Homer Simpson voice)
    Yes, I remember this coming into work and seeing Peter's little face light up, Polly the dog spinning on the spot and Simon grunting over the lightbox as he looked at geology maps.
    Anyway, very darn nice!