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Baklava (Kate Connally)
Baklava (Michael Panayiotakis)
Baklava (Shari Deiana)
Greek Baklava (Erik A. Speckman)
Persian Baklava (Erik A. Speckman)

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From: connally@vms.cis.pitt.edu (Kate Connally)

BAKLAVA
=======

Ingredients:
------------
1 lb filo dough
1/2 lb sweet butter
2 cup ground pistachios

Instructions:
-------------
Preheat oven to 200 F. (You may want to use a higher setting. I found
that it takes too long to bake and the center stays a little dought
tasting at 200 F. I use 275 F.) Melt butter, grease 11x16 jelly roll
pan. Lay 1 sheet of filo on bottom of pan and brush with butter. (If
it doesn't fit exactly just fold edges over to make it fit.) Repeat
until you have used approx. half the sheets. Spread nuts evenly over
entire surface. Continue layering sheets of filo on top of nut layer.
Pour any remaining butter over top. Cut into diagonal strips to form
diamond shapes. Bake 2 1/2 hours. (Watch carefully after 2 hours to
make sure it doesn't get overdone. The top should be a light golden
brown.)

Syrup:
------
3 cup sugar
2 cup apricot nectar
2 tblsp honey
1 tblsp lemon juice

Instructions:
-------------
Bring to boil and then simmer to a heavy syrup (approx. 20-25 min).
When baklava is done drain any excess butter from pastry. (I have never
done this but if you find it necessary, be very careful the whole thing
doesn't come out of the pan.) Brush surface lightly with butter. Pour
warm syrup over pastry a little at a time until all is absorbed. Allow
to cool several hours. Makes approx. 30 diamonds. (Baklava freezes
very successfully.)

Note:
-----
Don't let the filo dough intimidate you. I doesn't matter how messed up
the lower layers get cause you can't see them and by the time you get to
the top you will be an expert. If possible use a goose feather baster
rather than a basting brush which can tear the sheets if you are rough.
But if they tear it's no big deal, just patch. I always use pistachios
(this is the Turkish version) rather that walnuts (the Greek version)
because I don't like walnuts. If I can't afford pistachios I use
almonds, or half-and-half.

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From: louray@seas.gwu.edu (Michael Panayiotakis)

BAKLAVA
=======

Ingredients:
------------
Fillo dough (pastry leaves).
1 1/4 cups butter/margarine
1/4 cup sugar
1-2 tsp cinnamon (ground)
4 cups almonds, slivered and chopped.
cloves (NOT ground)

For syrup:
----------
4 cups sugar
3 cups water
1/2 cup honey
1 stick cinnamon
5-6 cloves (NOT ground)

Instructions:
-------------
Mix sugar, cinnamon, sugar, and almonds.

Lay the fillo dough out on a table. Fillo dough will dry quickly, so
you'll need to work fast, so what spills out of the pan doesn't dry
(although it will anyway), and keep a damp towel on the rest of it (that
you had laid on the table) so it doesn't dry.

On a medium-sized, buttered pan (you'll need to melt the butter) lay one
of the sheets of dough. Butter it, and lay another on top of that.
Continue until you have 5-6 sheets of dough on the bottom of the pan.
Then lay another sheet, and do NOT butter it. On that, put some of the
almond mix, enough to cover it evenly, but not making a thick layer. On
that, lay another sheet of dough, butter it, and then another,
unbuttered. On that place some almond mix again. Repeat until all the
mix is gone, or you have only 4-5 sheets of dough left.

Fold in the dough that hangs from the side of the pan. Some of sthem
will be dry, so just cut them and discard them. Make sure to butter all
of them (except, of course, if they have almonds on them). Lay down
some more sheets of dough, buttering every one, and cutting off the
edges, that hang from the sides of the pan. here, I've found it easier
if you just lay the dough down, width of dough to length of pan. That
is to say, the width of the dough is sometimes about teh same size as
the length of the pan, and the length of the dough about twice teh widht
of the pan, so lay the short side of the dough down along the length of
the pan, so that some (about half) of it will hang out the end. Then
butter it, and fold what hangs back in the pan, buttering that. This
way you get it to look better, and stick better.

When you're done with laying the sheets of dough down, make sure you
butter the first one VERY well, and sprinkle some water on it before you
put it in the oven. Also, with a sharp, pointy knife, cut the top few
sheets of dough, not getting all the way through, just sort of
"scratching" the top layer and marking the pieces, in rhombus-shaped
pieces. I find it easier to cut along lengthwise, and then sideways,
from corner to corner, and lines paralel to that:

______________
| / / / / |
|/__/__/__/__| <--------- "I hope you understand.."
| / / / /| It's supposed to be the pan, with the pieces.
|_/__/__/__/_|

(you get the idea).

Then, at the center of each rhombus, stick a clove, so that it keeps the
sheets of dough together. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until
golden-brown, and the edges no longer touch the wall of the pan.

Syrup:
------
Heat honey, sugar, water, cinnamon and cloves in a pan over medium heat
Until all is melted and combined well. Bring to a boil, then let simmer
for a while, 10 minutes maybe, enough for the spices to give off flavor.
Retain the syrup hot until the baklava comes out of the oven and cools.
Pour the hot syrup over the cold baklava. (some do it the other way, I
don't think it matters, as long as one is hot and the other cold, so
that it "boils" into the baklava and it saturates it well, whicle at the
same time keeps the top layer of filo dough crispy).

Note:
-----
I usually put in along with the spices a piece of lemon peel. A friend
of mine, on the other hand, uses 1-2 tbsp rosewater. They both work
well, and I sugest one of them.

Note 2:
-------
(On syrup/baklava hot/cold thing): I think you can save yourself some
time if you just take the baklava out, and then start the syrup, so that
by the time you're done, the baklava will have cooled down enough.

Note 3:
-------
You may use wallnuts or baking pistachios instead of almonds, or any
wallnut/almond or pistachio/almond combo. I've never tried
pistachio/almond/wallnut all in one, but I don't think it would be good.
Anyway, I usually prefer not to put any wallnuts because they give off
wallnut oil, which I don't think is fitting. (I guess I could roast
them first, so they wouldn't give off the oil, but I'm not a big wallnut
fan as it is.) Pistachios make it extra-special. Make sure that, no
matter what you use, they're ground coarsly.

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From: shari@cse.unl.edu (Shari Deiana)

BAKLAVA
=======

Ingredients:
------------
1 pkg philo dough
1 bag (the larger of the 2 kinds of bags, I think 8 oz) walnuts
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
almonds (optional, if I add them, I do 2 parts walnuts to 1 part almonds)
3 sticks butter (not margarine!)
3/4 cups sugar

Syrup:
------
1/2 water
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups honey
3 or 4 lemon slices
1 cinnamon stick

Instructions:
-------------

Make Syrup:
-----------
Dissolve sugar in water, bring to boil. Add honey, cinn. Stick and
lemon slices, reduce heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Strain
and leave to cool.

Assemble Baklava:
-----------------
Preheat oven to 325-350 (depends on how hot your oven is).

In a food processor, grind nuts, mix with sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Set aside. Melt butter. In a large pan (I use a roasting pan that is
about the size of a sheet of philo) place 2 layers philo, butter them
lightly, then 2 more sheets, repeating this until you have about 8 or 10
layers. Add 1/3 of the nut mixture. Cover with 2 more layers, lightly
butter, repeat until you have about 6 layers, add another third of the
nut mixture. Repeat this until you have used all the nut mixture, then
layer the remaining philo and butter on top.

Take a sharp knife and cut diagonal through the top layers of philo (not
past the top nut layer, and about 1 1/2 - 2 inches wide). Turn and do
the same on the opposite diagonal, to form diamond shapes. Bake for 1
hour, or until golden. Turn oven off and let baklava sit in oven for 1
more hour.

Remove, pour cooled syrup over hot baklava. Take knife and slice all
the way through the cuts you made previously. Let cool, and enjoy!

P.S. Until you get very fast at assembling the baklava, you might want
to cover the sheets with a damp towel while you are putting it together.

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GREEK BAKLAVA
=============

Ingredients:
------------
1 lb butter
1 lb filo, thawed
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tblsp cinnamon
3 cups finely chopped pecans

Syrup:
------
2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/4 cup honey
slice of lemon
strip of orange rind (optional)
stick of cinnamon

Instructions:
-------------
Combine nuts, sugar, and cinnamon and set aside. Melt butter and brush
bottom of pan. Add 7-8 sheets of filo brushing each with butter.
Sprinkle with nut mixture and repeat process until all the nut mixture
is used. Add remaining filo and brush top sheet with butter. Cut into
diamond shapes. Bake at 325 degrees F. for 45min. Lower heat to 300
degrees and bake 15min until golden.

Boil all syrup ingredients, except honey to from a light syrup--about
20min. Remove from heat and add honey. Remove lemon, orange, and
cinnamon. Let cool some and spoon over pastry.

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From: especkma@reed.edu (Erik. A Speckman)

PERSIAN BAKLAVA
===============

Ingredients:
------------

Filling:
--------
1 lb blanched almonds or an almond/walnut combination
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cardamom

Syrup:
------
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup rosewater (buy the type that comes in 10oz. bottles, not the
exorbitantly priced little bottles.)
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 lb filo, thawed

Instructions:
-------------
Finely grind the nuts. Add cardamom and sugar to the nuts. Cut the
filo to fit a 12x15" pan. Brush bottom of pan with butter and add 6
sheets of filo, brushing each with butter. Sprinkle and spread enough
of the nut mixture until you've added about 1/8" to the pan. Continue
building layers with 3 sheets of filo(brushing each with butter) to
every 1/8" of nuts. Finish with 6 layers of filo. Brush top with
butter. Cut through all but the bottom layer of filo in diamond shapes.
Bake at 350 degrees F. for 25-30min.

While it's baking, boil the water and sugar for 15min. Remove from heat
and add rosewater. When the baking is done, pour the syrup over the
baklava.

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