Introduction: 314 Layer Chocolate-Hazelnut Baklava Pi(e)
Runner Up in the
Serious Eats Pi Day Pie Contest
Share the love of pi with a sky high baklava pie. With 314 layers of phyllo dough and chocolate-hazelnut filling, this pie will be the hit of your Pi Day party!
Step 1: Ingredients
6 lbs Phyllo Dough
4 C. Hazelnuts
24 oz Bittersweet Chocolate
3 1/3 C. Sugar
3 T. Cinnamon
2 C. Butter (melted)
2 C. Water
1 1/2 C. Honey
1 Orange (zest)
Step 2: Prepare the Filling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread the hazelnuts on a large baking sheet and toast for approximately 12 min. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Then, place in a food processor (or nut mill) and grind until finely chopped.
Finely chop the chocolate, or use a food processor, until the chocolate is about the same size as the nuts.
Mix together the nuts, chocolate, 1 1/3 cups sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
Step 3: Prepare the Phyllo Dough
Phyllo dough can be found in the frozen pie section of your local supermarket. I recommend thawing the dough in the refrigerator prior to handling, if you thaw at room temperature you may have a problem with the delicate sheets tearing or sticking together.
Working with a package of dough at a time, unroll onto a cutting board. Use the bottom of an 8in cake pan as a template for cutting uniform circles out of the stack. Place circles on a damp cloth and keep covered. This will prevent the dough from tearing as you work with it.
Step 4: Begin Layering!
I highly recommend enlisting the help of family and friends for this step. Many hands makes the work load lighter!
Begin by buttering three (3) 8in cake pans. Then layer 2 sheets of phyllo dough in the pan. Butter the top sheet and place 2 more sheets on top. Repeat this process until you have a stack of ten sheets of phyllo dough. Then butter the top sheet and sprinkle with a few tablespoons of filling. Then place 2 sheets of dough over the filling and repeat the process. You will be buttering every 2 sheets and be placing filling on every 10th sheet. Each pan should contain 9 layers of filling and 90 sheets of dough.
When you reach the end of your 3rd pan end with 16 sheets of dough instead of 10 and top with your last layer of filling. This will give you 314 layers. (Note: I decided to end my 3rd pie using squares of dough instead of circles to create a dramatic effect by staggering the corners).
Bake for 25 min at 350 degrees F. Then lower the temperature down to 300 degrees F and bake for 65 more minutes.
Step 5: Prepare the Syrup
Combine 2 cups water, 1 1/2 cups honey, 2 cups of sugar, and the zest of one orange in a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil and simmer 15min or until it is reduced by half.
While the baklava is still warm, divide the syrup over the three pans. Just pour on the syrup and let the baklava soak it all up as it cools. You should let it cool and soak for at least 4 hours.
Step 6: Stack!
Once the baklava has cooled, carefully remove them from the pans by inverting them onto wire racks. Then carefully stack them for a towering, mathematical tribute to Pi!
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