A traditional, irresistible, mouthwatering Mediterranean treat
This recipe comes from my Armenian friend, Flo Manougian, who is by this time a part of the dim, dark past. This recipe been in her family for many generations, and I feel so lucky to have met her and that she shared this recipe with me. Many Bakalva recipes call for honey, but this one uses sugar, which I prefer because it is not as sweet, nor as sticky. And oh my, all that butter just guarantees deliciousness!
As for the packaging, “Jeannie’s Fancy Bakery” is a place we go at times when I am feeling like doing something extra special. The “Bakery” has tables at some nice big windows (well, actually, one table, and actually, it’s at our house), so we dress up and sit up straight and sip on tea with milk and enjoy a special treat. Maybe one day I will have my own real bakery, but until then, we just pretend and it’s just really nice.
- 1 pound butter, melted
- 1 pound fillo dough at room temperature
- 1 pound walnuts, ground finely, mixed with 1/3 cup of sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- Brush melted butter over the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan, lay a fillo sheet down and brush it with butter. Lay another fillo sheet down, brush with butter, and continue until about 1/3 of the fillo has been used. On the top fillo sheet, brush melted butter, then generously sprinkle some crushed walnuts. Repeat until all the walnuts are gone, and you have used about another third of the fillo sheets. Top with the remaining third of fillo sheets, buttering every layer. Butter the very last sheet, then score into diamonds by cutting through the top few layers of fillo.
- Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling. Turn off oven and allow baklava to cool in the oven overnight.
- Combine water, sugar and lemon in a saucepan, heat and stir gently until sugar dissolves. Pour this hot syrup over the cooked, cooled baklava.
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- Cut into diamonds, using as guides, the scores you made in the top before baking.
Package in golden cellophane, tie off and add a luggage tag with your name or special message.