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cchiu, Clarified butter has had it's milk solids and scum removed. Thus providing you with a fat that has a higher burning point.also Pyllo is very tender,as I'm sure you know, so the smoother the butter (melted) the less apt you are to tear the sheets. But I do not clarify my butter when I make baklava, I feel it adds a little flavor. Last week at work I made caramelized stuffed red pears Stuffed with Roquefort cheese and served with warm baklava and orange blossom water, served it wish 89 doisy Verdains
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I'm not a pro baker, just a food nut, but I can say that whenever my wife makes baklava it's unclarified (just plain melted) butter.

Here's the real tip to heavenly crispy baklava, she says: do the syrup first, and let it cool. Then pour it over the phyllo while the pan is still warm.

Cool syrup, warm phyllo. That's how you get the best baklava, the wife says. And I'm a witness that it's true.
 

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I've had this recurring problem with baklava that I can't figure out. It's off the topic, but since we're talking about baklava, mine separates after I re-cut the pieces. Doesn't matter if I add more or less syrup. Doesn't matter if I weigh the baklava down during the 1st half of baking. I've even tried adding more sugar to the nuts, in hopes that it will melt the top down onto the filling. Any suggestions out there?
 

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They tend to separate at the point where the nuts meet the top layers. The problem may be that I cut them very small, but I don't like serving large pastries. I have tried letting it sit in the cooler for 24 hours, and that has not helped. A couple days more might do the trick?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
momoreg

I have never had that problem with my baklava either. Posting the recipe would help.

I also wonder, how do you chop the nuts and what kind of nuts do you use?
 

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In using the melted butter, you may make your baklava soggy if you don't keep it well stirred. (get to the bottom of the pot and all that's left is the butter water)

you may want to weigh down the baklava after pouring the syrup over top.

bake, cut, syrup, weigh down for a few min.

could work maybe?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Live_to_cook:

Yes, I am familiar with this technique. It is a good tip for this kind of dessert. Syrup must either be cool and poured over hot baklawa or hot and poured over cooled baklawa. Never pour hot syrup over hot baklawa; it will make it soggy.

Also, if you can sprinkle water over top (before putting in oven) to prevent phyllo from curling up.
 

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If it's that the piece comes apart in the middle (at the nut layer) the only thing my wife knows of to combat that is to leave it in the pan for a couple of days before you cut it, which apparently increases the adhesive power of the syrup.

Which is a darn shame because of course it's best warm...

[This message has been edited by Live_to_cook (edited 12-11-2000).]
 

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Here's the recipe:

1# phyllo
8 oz. butter

Unclarified butter, brushed between each sheet. Half of package comprises bottom of baklava.

Filling:
10 oz. chop pistachio
2T sugar

This filling is pretty dry. Maybe it needs some more moisture??? I've tried a touch of syrup, to no avail.

Cut before baking. 350 degrees until done. Pour cooled syrup over.

Syrup:
1.25c sugar
1/2c h2o
1T lemon juice
1T orange blossom water

What do you think?
 

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momoreg, Thanks for the recipe. Try marking the baklava with your knife before baking instead of cutting it. If you weight it down with something that is a little smaller then your pan you will not steam it you will actually push out the steam. I have a number of different size cuts of wood that I wrap with foil and place on top of anything from a Terrine to baklava with some weight on it.maybe you should add some whole butter to your filling, cream it with the nuts and sugar. That might help with the moisture.Either way, I'm sure your Baklava is tasty
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When I have made Baklava, for every four buttered sheets, dust with the filling. four sheets, dust, four sheets, dust until you are done. bake, cut, syrup while hot.
syrup
1 cup water
1 1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup honey
rose water or orange blossom
pinch o' salt

I am getting hungry!
 

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Wow what a wealth of ideas to try!

Good point, capechef, I guess it wouldn't steam with a smaller weight than pan. I have never tried making it without pre-cutting it. Have you done it that way? And it doesn't crumble when you try cutting the baked product?

Mbrown, I will try that method, dusting periodically, rather than a single layer of filling. Seems like that might help it adhere better. I shall keep you posted, when and if I ever have time to make baklava again!

Many thanks to you both.
 

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Sounds alittle redundant now, I do 4 layers and do a mixed nut (almond, pecan, walnut choose 2) sugar cinnamon and orange zest as the filling and don't have the separation problem. I also throw an orange peel and lemon peel in the syrup.
Baklava fingers....rolled cookies are fun too
 

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Does anyone stud their baklava pieces with cloves? Don't know where it came from but with the orange water it certainly transports you to Middle East bazaar instantly... warm, intoxicating fragrance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I've infused my syrup with cloves but never studded them.

Here's some questions for everyone...

Have you incorporated orange blossom water and/or rose water into your baklava?

Do you find that people not native from the middle east like or dislike this addition?
 
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