Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 1 hour
Many oven-baked Turkish pastries come under the heading of "baklava." They consist of extremely thin sheets of pastry brushed with butter, then folded, stacked or rolled after being filled with crushed pistachios or hazelnuts or heavy cream. They're baked in the oven, then soaked in syrup. The various varieties include the sultan, the lark's nest and the rolled turban which differ by the quantity and placement of the dried fruit, the size and shape of the pieces and the amount of syrup.
Baklava is best if you wait several days before eating it.
The walnuts can be replaced by pistachios, or you could use a combination.
- Boil the water and sugar together in a saucepan for 10 minutes to form a slightly syrupy liquid;
- add the lemon juice and boil a few minutes longer. Remove from the heat and let cool.
- Cut the pastry in half; it should have the same dimensions as the baking dish - use a pyrex dish 20 x 30 cm (8 x 12").
- Butter the baking dish with 1 tbsp. butter.
- Melt the remaining butter; layer half the pastry sheets in the dish, brushing each one with butter.
- Cover with the ground nuts; place the remaining pastry sheets on top in the same manner, buttering each one. You can use small pieces of pastry in the layering, but be sure to use a whole sheet for the top layer. With a sharp knife, cut the pastry into wide 5 cm (2") bands, then slice on the diagonal to form diamond shapes.
- Butter the top with the remaining butter and place the baking dish into a preheated 180° C (350° F) oven and bake for 40 minutes or until the top is browned.
- Remove from the oven and immediately pour the cooled syrup over top.
With the collaboration of the Turkish Embassy, Tourism Office and Cultural Ministry
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