MAKES 16 SQUARES
Layers of filo pastry encase a mix of nuts and sweet cherries in this Middle Eastern sweet treat.
Prep 20 mins
Cook 50 mins
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan oven/Gas 4. Add the walnuts to a small roasting tin, put in the oven and roast for about 10-15 mins, remove, allow to cool slightly then add to a food processor. Tip in the almonds and pistachio nuts and using the pulse button whiz until just beyond roughly chopped. Don’t over chop, as you want some texture in the mix. Tip into a large bowl.
Stir in spices, orange blossom water, honey, sugar and butter and stir well. Cut the filo pastry to the tin size and have the melted butter to hand. Brush each piece as you go with the melted butter and layer about 5 sheets at the bottom of the tin. Top with half the mixture then top with a couple of buttered sheets then add the remaining mixture, flatten it and top with final 5 sheets of filo. Brush the top sheet well then using a sharp knife, slice into 16 squares, so pieces are separated. Put in oven and bake for about 45 mins or until pastry is slightly puffed and golden. If it starts to brown too quickly cover loosely with foil.
Meanwhile, prepare the syrup. Add the water, sugar, honey, lemon and orange blossom water to a pan and heat for about 15 mins or until it begins to thicken to a syrup. Remove the baklava from the oven when ready and generously drizzle over the syrup, making sure it goes in-between all the cuts and put it back in the oven for 5 more mins. Remove from oven and leave to cool completely then slice through again. Finely chop remaining pistachio nuts and sprinkle over each square. Remove from tin and enjoy! These are sweet – one slice at a time is more than enough!
Tip: This is good to prep ahead, at least 24 hours as the flavours really settle and it is easier to handle. Keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
MAKE IT VEGAN
Switch the butter to a plant based butter of your choice and switch the honey to maple syrup