Syrian Baklava

This is an extremely special recipe that our founder Becky and her mom have been baking for decades. It comes from a Clutter family friend who immigrated to the US from Syria 🇸🇾

Yield: 30–60 pieces, depending on how you cut the baklava 

Ingredients

Flaky Layers:

  • 1 lb (454g) phyllo dough
  • 20 Tbsp (12oz or 283g) unsalted butter, divided

Filling:

  • 1 cup (113g) walnuts, very finely chopped
  • 1 cup (113g) pecans, very finely chopped
  • 1 cup (198g) granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Cortas Rose Water
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp nutmeg, freshly ground
  • Syrup:
  • 1 Tbsp Cortas Rose Water
  • 1 cup (198g) granulated sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • few drops of lemon juice

Directions

  1. The day before you are going to bake the baklava, move the phyllo dough from the freezer to the refrigerator to thaw. Three hours before you plan to bake, take phyllo out of fridge, leaving it in its original packaging.
  2. When you’re ready to start, melt 10 tablespoons of butter. While it’s cooling, make filling. Place all filling ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
  3. After you open the phyllo and lay it flat on your work surface, cover it with a clean and slightly damp dishtowel. This keeps the phyllo from drying out.
    NOTE: Since phyllo can dry out so quickly, we highly recommend keeping the dishtowel on the phyllo for the entire prep process.
  4. Butter a 9" by 13" by 2" baking dish.
  5. Begin layering sheets of phyllo, brushing each layer well with butter. You should work efficiently and quickly, but also very gently so that you don’t rip the phyllo.
    NOTE #1: The phyllo is slightly larger than the baking dish, so you’ll need to fold down two edges of each layer just a wee bit. Make sure to alternate which sides you’re folding down, otherwise you’ll end up with lopsided baklava.
    NOTE #2: When removing a sheet of phyllo from the stack, if the sheets stick together, very gently peel them apart. Work as gently as you can, but it’s okay if the phyllo occasionally rips a little. Simply lay the ripped sheet (or pieces) in the baking dish, butter it, then move on.
  6. After you have laid down half of the phyllo (roughly 20 sheets), melt the other 10 tablespoons of butter. While the butter is cooling, sprinkle filling evenly over phyllo in dish. With a light touch, smooth out surface of filling.
  7. Heat oven to 350°F.
  8. Continue layering sheets of phyllo, brushing each layer well with butter. Once you use all of the phyllo, butter the top layer as well.
  9. Cut baklava into desired pieces prior to baking. There are a few different ways you can cut baklava. In the photo above, we cut our baklava into diamonds, but you could also do triangles or squares.
  10. Bake 45–60 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. While the baklava is baking, make the syrup. In a small pot over high heat, combine syrup ingredients and bring to a boil. Stirring occasionally, cook until mixture thickens slightly, 10–15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  12. After baklava is done baking, allow to cool slightly. Then pour cool or cold syrup over warm pastry. Allow baklava to set for a few hours or overnight before enjoying. 

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