Introduction: Baklava Kourou

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Full of bright green pistachios, flaky layers of fillo (phyllo), and sweet syrup, baklava is a perfect breakfast, snack, or dessert. Unlike some types of baklava that are soaked and sticky with syrup, this version is a bit more dry, but is every bit as delicious. It replaces the honey that is sometimes used with a light, sweet syrup, and can be easily vegan-ized by swapping the butter for a buttery spread.

Special thanks to my awesome co-worker Demetrios for sharing his mom's delicious Baklava recipe with me!

You'll Need. . .
  • 8 ounces fillo dough (look in the freezer case of your grocery store)
  • 8 ounces butter (1 cup or two sticks)
  • 1 1/2 cups pistachios (unsalted if possible), removed from their shells and chopped (approximately 1 pound still in their shells) - I like to grind them in a mortar and pestle so that there are some larger pieces and some small ones
  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 9 inch square baking pan (glass suggested)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Small microwave-safe bowl
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Pastry brush
  • Saucepan

How To
  1. Prepare the filling by combining the chopped pistachios, breadcrumbs, and sugar
  2. Melt the butter in the microwave (approximately 50 seconds) and brush the bottom of the pan with a thin layer
  3. Cut the fillo sheets into quarters to allow them to fit better into your pan
  4. Add a sheet of fillo to the pan and brush the top with butter. Repeat until you have used approximately 1/3 of the fillo
  5. Spread on a layer of the filling and top with two sheets of fillo, buttering each one after applying it
  6. Repeat until all filling is used
  7. Top with remaining third of fillo dough, buttering each sheet
  8. Preheat oven to 290 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the baklava for 50-60 minutes or until the fillo begins to brown
  9. While it's baking, dissolve the sugar in the water and bring to a boil
  10. Stir in the lemon juice and vanilla and cook until the liquid reaches the consistency of a medium syrup, then remove from heat and let cool
  11. Cut the warm baklava into diamond pieces while still in the pan and pour the syrup over it
  12. Let cool completely and allow the syrup to set
  13. Enjoy!
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