YaYa’s Baklava Recipe
Carol Girdis mentioned that Rob had published his grandmother’s Baklava recipe some time ago in The San Juan Islands Cookbook. After a little digging, I was able to find the recipe, in YaYa’s words. Give it a try, it is delicious….
1 1/2 c Sugar
1/2 c Honey
1 1/2 c Water
1/4 ts Ground cinnamon
2 ts Lemon juice
1 pk (16 oz.) shelled walnuts, finely chopped
2 tb Ground cinnamon
1 lb Butter
1 lb Phyllo pastry, thawed according to package directions.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
To make the syrup: In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, honey, water and cinnamon; simmer 8 minutes. Add lemon juice and cook 2 minutes longer. Syrup should be sticky to the touch. Set aside to cool.
To make the filling: In a small bowl, combine walnuts and cinnamon until blended; set aside. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter; keep warm. Fold out stack of phyllo sheets; cover surface with towel or plastic wrap to prevent drying. Remove only one sheet at a time. Brush a 12 x 18-inch pan with butter. Spread a sheet of phyllo into pan and brush with melted butter. Repeat until there are 6 layers of phyllo. Sprinkle one-third of nut filling on the 6th layer. Add 6 more phyllo leaves, again brushing each with melted butter, sprinkle with one-third nut mixture. Repeat this procedure until all ingredients are used, ending with 6 layers of phyllo for the top. Brush top with butter. Before baking, cut dough in pan diagonally into 2-inch strips, then cut diagonally again to make diamond shapes. Bake for 45 minutes. Pastry should be golden brown and flaky. Pastry should be dry, not soft, in the middle. Pour cooled syrup over hot pastry. Pour only enough syrup to fill halfway on pastry. Serve warm or cooled. Stand back and watch it disappear. Makes 20 servings.