Greek Baklava (Baklavas)

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Greek Baklava (Baklavas)

1 pound unsalted (sweet) butter, melted
1 pound filo dough sheets
1.5 pounds (24 ounces) walnuts
1 pound almonds
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice or cloves

Thaw the filo dough sheets before starting. Melt the butter. Grind or chop together the walnuts and almonds, and mix together with the cinnamon, allspice or cloves, and sugar. Using a rectangular pan, preferably a 9 x 13 x 2, brush the pan with the melted butter. Separate a sheet of the thawed filo. Handling it as little as possible, lay a sheet in the bottom of the pan. Brush it with butter. Fold it over if necessary to fit in the pan. Do this until you have about 10-12 layers. Then put a layer of the nuts and spices mixture on top of the sheet of filo, cover with another sheet of filo, paint that with butter, and continue in this manner until you’ve used all of your filling. Top with about an equal amount of the filo sheets as you used for the bottom. If you’re a little short or a little over, don’t worry about it. Too many layers can get a bit gummy, however. Be sure each sheet is brushed with butter.

Cut across the completed baklava with a sharp knife, into triangles or diamonds. Bake at 350 for about an hour, or until evenly browned on top. Pour the cooled syrup (recipe below) over it and let it sit for a couple of hours before serving.

2 cups honey
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 cinnamon sticks (or 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (Optional)

Simmer together the syrup ingredients for ten minutes and strain. Set aside. A good time to make this is just after you’ve put the baklava into the oven.

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