Occasionally you find an amazing recipe in an unlikely place. Such was the case several years ago when I picked up a random book off of the shelf at the library. It was a story about three sisters who were forced to flee from their country, and ended up in Ireland. The story was good, but the best part was the section in the back that had recipes from the story! And the Baklava recipe? It’s definitely a keeper!
I will caution you, however. The quality & strength of the flavor of the rosewater you use will make or break this recipe! One year we ended up with a rosewater that was a bit more strong than we had ever encountered, and I still hear about the perfumed baklava that we gave out! Make sure you opt for a mild rosewater!
We made a few changes, as almonds & walnuts were both on the ‘someone in the family can’t have these’ list, and it was delightful. No, it was absolutely amazing.
Baklava from Pomegranate Soup
2 cups of dark brown sugar
2 cups of light brown sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup rosewater
1 pound shelled pistachios, chopped
1 pound chopped cashews
2 tablespoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
15 phyllo pastry shells
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
*2 pounds unsalted butter, melted
Bring the 2 cups of dark brown sugar, water, and rosewater to a boil in a medium saucepan. Set aside to cool.
Grind pistachios, cashews, cardamom, cinnamon and 2 cups of light brown sugar in a food processor for 1 minute. Set aside.
Lay the first 5 sheets of buttered phyllo pastry into a greased 13-by-9-inch pan. We ended up melting a stick of butter and brushing each sheet with a nice, thick layer.
Cover the first 5 sheets with a thin, even layer of nut mixture, then cover with 5 more buttered sheets of pastry. Repeat until the pan is full or all mixture is used. We ended up filling 2 pans.
With a sharp knife, cut across and diagonally to form diamond shapes.
Bake in oven at 350*F for 1 hour. Pour cooled sugar and rosewater syrup and sprinkle any remaining nuts over the top.
Let cool before serving.
I’m sure that you are supposed to rub softened butter over the sheets, but brushing melted butter over each sheet was easier. It ended up taking us around 2 pounds of melted butter to make 2 pans of baklava. The rosewater syrup was a different taste than most baklava that I’ve had, but it added a wonderful flavor – the kind that you can’t quite put your finger on, but that is just heavenly.
Enjoy! **Recipe was from “Pomegranate Soup” by Marsha Mehran
This recipe is from our Holiday Treats series. For more recipes for your Christmas baking, visit our Recipes page!
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