Thursday, August 20, 2009

Nigella's Baklava

OMG this stuff is delicious. And evil. But delicious. And oh-so-evil. It's also very easy to make, but a little time consuming - but so worth it!

I made it as part of a Greek-themed feast I was having with Kaz and Chocolate Crackle. Kaz made really yummy bougatsa for dessert as well - it was filo heaven!

Make the syrup first and the pop into the fridge while you make the pastry part.

Nigella's Baklava

For the syrup
300ml water
500g caster sugar
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon rosewater
1 tablespoon orange-flower water
NB: you can get rose water and orange flower water from the chemist.

For the pastry:
325g pistachios, chopped in a processor until medium–fine
125g melted unsalted butter
400g filo pastry

Use a 23 x 23 tin for this -I'd advise not to use your favourite baking tin as you need to slice through the pastry while still in the tin. A foil disposable one from the supermarket is probably best, or even silicon (but be careful not to slice right through!).

Add water, sugar and lemon juice to a pot and bring to the boil. Keep it at boiling point for 5 minutes. Add the rosewater and flower water and then remove it from the heat. Pour it into a jug, let it cool and then chill it in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 180ºc.

Brush the tin with butter and then begin to layer the filo pastry sheets, brushing each layer with butter (tip: make sure you cover your filo with a damp tea towel so it doesn't dry out).
Use approx 20 sheets (1/2 packet) for the bottom layer, placing them in the tin evenly as you can. Then, spread the pistachios evenly over the filo sheets.

You can tell already this is going to be good...

Then carry on with the rest of the pastry in the same way. The last sheet on top should also be buttered well and then with a sharp knife trim around the top edge of the tin to give a neat finish. Cut parallel lines 4–5cm apart to form diamond shapes, making sure you cut the baklava right through to the bottom of the tin (not through the bottom of the tin though!).

Before cutting

Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, by which time the filo will have puffed up and become golden-brown.

Awaiting its drenching in sweet nectar

As soon as it comes out of the oven, pour over half the cold syrup. Leave it a few minutes to soak in and then pour over the rest.

Buttery, pistachio-ey, rose scented bliss!! It doesn't get much better than this - and it was even better the next day.


  1. Yuuum!!! Love Nigella's recipes, and like Nigella, I love pistachios! Looks amazing, Megan - droooool... Is the dish you made it in silicone?

  2. Oh yes baklva made wiht pistachio is a gorgeous thing indeed. It looks lovely and golden-I'm a total sucker for sticky baklava :)

  3. I generally don't like Nigella's recipes, but every now and then she does something I just love - this and one of her very chocalatey chocolate cakes are on that list!

    Her mashes sweet potato with marshmallows is not.