Sunday, 12 August 2012

Baklava, Turkey. Olympic Food Challenge.

 Back to Europe for this leg of the Olympic Food Challenge and we are visiting Turkey.

Turkey are faily consistant in the Game, usually winning a few of each colour, they have 5 to take home from London, 2 Gold.

I went an holiday to Turkey ages ago and what I vaguely remember of the food it was very good, lots of fish and grilled meats. However the recipe I first thought of for Turkey was Baklava, something I've never had and wanted to have a go making.

It is fairly simple to make, it's basically lots of layers of Filo pastry and liberal amounts of melted butter. somewhere in between those layers lies a layer of crushed walnut and pistachios, the whole thing is then drenched in a sugar syrup once cooked.

18 sheets ready-made filo pastry (unwrap and keep under a damp tea-towel until you are ready to use)
225g/8oz unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
225g/8oz mixed pistachios and walnuts, roughly chopped
2 tbsp  sugar
1 tsp ground cardamom

350g caster sugar
300ml water
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp orange blossom water

Layer 10 sheets of filo pastry onto a baking tray, butter each layer before adding the next.
Mix the nuts, sugar and cardamom together and place in a thin layer across the pastry.
Layer another 8 sheets on top of the nut layer, again buttering between each piece of filo.
Slash a criss cross shape into the top of the baklava before baking in a preheated oven at 180C for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes lower the temperature to 150C for another half until the Baklava is slightly puffed up and golden.
Leave to cool slightly.
Add the sugar, water, lemon juice and orange water into a ban and heat over a medium heat until the sugar melts and forms a syrup, takes about 20 minutes.
Pour the syrup into the slashes and leave to cool.
Cut into diamonds and serve.

Very tasty, crisp sweet pastry compliment by the slightly chewy nut layer. very messy to eat as you can imagine with filo pastry, crumbles everywhere.

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