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I had lived in Greece during the early 1990s for over a year, and encountered numerous specialties, including:


Classic Greek Baklava


900 grams or 2 pounds unsalted butter Clarified

walnuts, blanched almonds or mixture of both or Pistachios 2 1/2 pounds or 1 1/4 kilos

1 cup coarse plain bread crumbs

1 teasp. cinammon powder

Commercial Phyllo Dough - 2 pounds or 900 grams

whole cloves for garnish



4 cups sugar

1 Litre or 4 cups water

2 tblsps. Lemon juice from a Fresh Lemon


1. preheat overn to 400 farenheit or 200 centigrade degrees

2. lightly butter a 38x 45 x 7. 5 cm  Or  15 x 18 x 3 Inch baking pan

3. in a large bowl, combine the assorted nuts, crumbs and cinammon and add 1/3 cup clarified butter to mixture, just enough to moisten mixture

4. layer 6 Phyllo sheets on bottom of prepared pan, one at a time, egg brushing each generously with clarified butter mixture and sprinkle a third of the nut mixture over the 6th Phyllo sheet and spread evenly.

5. drizzle 1 or 2 tsps. more clarified butter over the nuts.

6. layer 4 Phyllo sheets over the nuts one at a time, buttering each generously

7. spread another third of nut mixture on top & drizzle, as before with a teaspoon or two of butter

8. layer and butter another 4 phyllo sheets top with remaining nut mixture and drizzle the clarified butter

9. top the pan with 5 to 6 sheets Phyllo each brushed with clarified butter generously

10. with the tips of your fingers, sprinkle the top Phyllo with a little water and brush again

11. score into diamond shapes, first slicing very gently with a sharp knife vertically and then horizontally

12. make sure the knife cuts all the way down through the bottom of the Phyllo

13. press a whole clove into each piece of Baklava before baking

14. bake for 12 minutes or until phyllo begins to golden and crisp slightly

15. reduce heat to 160 degrees centig or 325 farenheit degrees and bake for 1 1/2 hours or until the baklava is golden brown

16. brush with one more ample dowsing of butter




1) while the baklava is baking, combine sugar and water in saucepan and bring to boil

2) reduce heat and simmer uncovered 12 to 15 mins. to make 32 grade syrup

3) remove saucepan from heat and immediately stir in the lemon juice

4) remove baking pan from oven, and pour hot syrup over the baklava and place the baklava in the oven

5) let stand 20 mins. until all syrup is absorbed - 20 mins.

6) serve warm or at room temperature

7) seal in a tin


Yield: 30 pieces approximately


Margaux Cintrano

Photo Courtesy: Chef Lefteris Lazarou, Restaurant Varolko, Athens