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Wendy and I had a very interesting brain storm on baklava.

After Wendy's and Momoreg's advice I started freezing mine also
My recipe and " secrets" are all there

http://www.cheftalkcafe.com/forums/s...hlight=baklava

I have also posted on the history on baklava in the thread

Ancient Baklava for WdeBord

Funny foodnfoto

I have a story for baklava and Lebanon too.
Well. I wasn't very fond of Arabs and anything Middle eastern that wasn't Jewish :blush:
I know, it was stupid because for years I didn't have access to a huge chapter of Human Civilization.
But... things come strange in life.
My husband's ex-wife is Lebanese. He has lived in Lebanon and as being a true bon-viveur he loved Lebanese Cuisine. He started cooking in our house every kind of Lebanese food and at the beginning I was really uspet about that.
But you know how food works, it can tame you for good... :)
I became a phanatic of Lebanese cuisine and Arab cuisine in general.
Although I used to bake baklava on a professional basis and it's very easy for me to prepare good baklava with my phyllo, after tasting Lebanese baklava I keep finding excuses to make Nick bake the Lebanese version of this exquisite pastry.
We have bet, if his team looses in the soccer tonight by my team, he will have to bake baklava tommorrow :)
If my team looses he will have to bake a small pan in order to console me :)
We are having Lebanese baklava, anyway

I have to admit. Lebanese Baklava is better than the Greek. Middle eastern pastries are more noble in general because our (Greek) food is the food of poverty but theirs in the food of abudance of a blessed Land.

:)
 

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Greek baklava's filling is made from walnuts or almonds
Lebanese baklava is made from pistachios and of course they use extensively the rose water

According to my knowledge of course
 

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2 c Med. chopped pistachio nuts
1/3 c Sugar
1 tb Rose water
1 lb Filo dough
1 lb Drawn butter or sweet butter
Syrup


For the syrup

2 c Sugar
1 c Water
Few drops of lemon juice
1 ts Rose water

Preparation

Combine pistachios, sugar and rose water.
Filo dough may be spread in a buttered 10 x 14 inch pan, brushing each layer with butter.
Half way through the layering, place nut mixture in 1/2 to 3/4 inch layer. Then continue layering buttered filo on top. Cut in diamond shaped pieces. Bakeat 300 degrees for one hour or until golden brown.
Pour syrup over baklava


Oh Honey is a topic I have a lot of information . What distinguishes the Greek Honey as all the Greek products is that they are still prepared the old methods.

In Athens and the related area of Attica they produced since antiquity the best honey

Very early, from 4th ce BC they have created great recipes for pastries just because they produced it and It was famous in whole Meditteranean.

For baklava, I do not use sugar in the filling, so for the syrop I have to use a honey that is robust as you described it.
The honey of Attica is this kind of product.

BUT for the recipe above if you would like to substitute sugar for honey I would suggest you to use a light flower honey.The one we call here Spring honey.

Oh I forgot to mention that Attica's honey that is exported to the States, is produced by bees that they have been eating exclusively thyme...That;' why it's robust and very very aromatic and a bit dark.

I have to tell you that monpetitchoux

Last year a client of mine in order to thank me for some paper work, brought me as present a bee-hive of wax!!!! He brought me the honey with the wax of the bees as they collect it from the hives...
This gift was preciouss... usually they do not remove that only for special occasions.

In order to eat it you cut a piece of wax and you put it in your mouth, you chew it without shallowing the wax which is BTW so aromatic and great

Have you ever tasted that?
 

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I make the syrup with honey and not with sugar

:)
 

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I will be honest on that monpetitchoux

I started using wallnuts in my filling because baking wallnut baklava is very very difficult , you are always on the edge of failure and I wanted to show- off my skills in baking... I was working in the professional kitchen those days and showing skills was obligatory.

I like wallnuts very much and It's a very popular dessert in Greece to have just wallnuts and honey. Some people put wallnuts and honey on yoghurt.

On the other hand.
Almond gives a lighter texture and is cheeper too... if you like the flower scents as orange and rose water, I think it's better to use almonds.

A TIP

I have discovered recently that powdering some of the nut filling, wallnut or almond or pistachio gives a more flexible texture to the filling and permits the layers staying together too ESPECIALLY if you use sugar in the filling. Try it ;)

Orange flower honey...
Orange is my favorite fruit :) This honey must be delicious.
 

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Oh walnuts...

Are so tasty but a pain you know where...
If you over bake them, they become very bitter, baklava turns to a nice deep black color... and the layers just collapse.
If you under bake walnut baklava it has a strong smell ( strong for my nose at least) The under baked walnut with the buttered phyllo is just bliah... or yakkkk in american English

Isa and other of course, have you ever tasted the famous Greek fruit preserves???
Well, you won't believe it but fresh ( when it's green during August) walnut preserve is the most tastefull thing... and of course the most difficult to prepare...

Shall I start a thread on preserves??
 
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