Is baklavàs Greek? Recipe and Origins.
Baklavàs! It is found in all the Balkan countries and the Middle East. Ecommerce Online
Establishing with certainty the origin of baklavàs is a difficult task with an uncertain outcome. It certainly dates back to the Byzanine era but not in its present form which was most likely conceived in the kitchens of the Sublime Porta. And it is Turkey that has obtained the IPG recognition of Antep pistaccio baklavàs. And what about us Greeks? Whatever its origin, baklavàs is considered a Greek dessert in all respects. We find it ready everywhere: in traditional pastry shops, kafeneia, supermarkets, sometimes delikatessen. But we also often prepare it at home, with walnuts, almonds, pistachios.
Baklavàs : Ingredients.
And the recipe that follows is precisely the pistachio version. Not with Antep pistachios but with the famous Aegina pistachios. Although the preparation of baklavàs may seem elaborate, it is actually very simple. To begin with, the number of ingredients that are very few, but must be of excellent quality.
Ingredients of baklavàs : (baking dish 26 x 18)
1 package of phyllo dough (300 gr for 10 – 12 sheets)
200 gr. of shelled unsalted weighted pistachios
200 gr. of butter
Syrup: 120 gr. of granulated sugar
1 soup spoon of honey (wildflower or acacia)
100 ml of water
a stick of cinnamon
a little lemon zest
Procedeure the make baklavàs:
(preparation 30 min. – wait 15 min. – cooking 90 min.)
If the phyllo dough is frozen, take it out of the freezer and let it thaw. Otherwise, skip this step. Put the pistachios a few at a time in the mortar and grind them until they are crushed into grains. If, on the other hand, this step seems boring, put them in the food processor and give them a few turns to chop them up. But don’t reduce them completely to flour, something must be felt between your teeth. Unroll the phyllo dough, place it in front of you with the longest side towards you and cut it in half vertically. The baklavàs, unlike other preparations with phyllo dough, must not overflow from the pan as it should not have a crown of phyllo around it. Therefore, the phyllo dough must be the size of the pan. Cover the phyllo with a napkin to keep it from drying out.
Put the butter in a saucepan and liquefy it. Generously grease the pan and spread the first sheet of the phyllo. Dip the brush in the liquefied butter and butter it. Proceed in the same way until half of the sheets have been spread out. My package of phyllo dough had 12 sheets, so I had fillo for 24 layers. Spread out the first 12 or at least half of those you have, pour the pistachios (keep a little for the final decoration), distribute evenly and cover with the remaining sheets in the same way; buttering each sheet. Grease also the last one and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Becoming cold you can easily cut the portions. Turn on the oven in 150 degrees static mode. Remove the baklavàs from the fridge, cut the portions with a sharp knife and bake on the middle shelf for 80 – 90 minutes, until golden brown. If you see that it becomes dark quickly, cover with aluminum foil and remove it in the last 10 minutes of cooking.
Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 15 minutes. Pour the water and sugar into a saucepan. Add the cinnamon stick and lemon zest and boil for 3 minutes from when it comes off the boil. Discard the cinnamon and lemon zest. Add honey and mix. Using a ladle slowly pour the syrup over the baklavàs. Let it soak in the syrup for at least 2 hours. When ready to serve, decorate with a little chopped pistachios.