Persian baklava with rose–lime syrup

Persian baklava with rose–lime syrup

By
From
New Middle Eastern Food
Makes
30 pieces
Photographer
Mark Roper

Persian baklava is particularly delicious. It’s generally made from ground almonds scented with cardamom, and soaked in a light rosewater syrup. Some versions have a base of almonds, topped with a pretty green pistachio layer. Here, a little lime juice added to the syrup helps balance the intense sweetness of the baklava. Serve in small amounts; it is extremely rich.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
clarified butter
300g ground almonds
200g caster sugar
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
6 sheets filo pastry
3 tablespoons pistachio slivers, (optional)
dried rose petals, (optional)

Rose–lime syrup

Quantity Ingredient
300g caster sugar
150ml water
2 tablespoons rosewater
1 tablespoon lime juice

Method

  1. To make the rose–lime syrup, dissolve the caster sugar in the water in a small, heavy-based saucepan over a gentle heat, swirling the pan from time to time. Increase the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the syrup thickens. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes before stirring in the rosewater and lime juice. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC and brush a 28 cm x 18 cm baking tin with clarified butter. To make the filling, combine the ground almonds, sugar and cardamom in a bowl.
  3. Work with one sheet of filo at a time and keep the rest covered with a damp tea towel. Lay a sheet of filo on a work surface with the long side facing you. Brush the filo with melted clarified butter and fold it in half from left to right. Line the prepared tin with the pastry (it should be a close fit) and brush with a little more clarified butter. Repeat with two more sheets of filo. Use a sharp knife to trim the layers to fit the base of the tin neatly.
  4. Tip the almond filling into the tin and use your fingers to press it in evenly and firmly. Butter another layer of filo and fold in half, as before, then brush with clarified butter and place it, buttered side down, on top of the filling. Brush with a little more clarified butter and repeat with the remaining two sheets of filo. Finally, brush the top layer of pastry with more butter. Trim the edges neatly.
  5. Cut the baklava on the diagonal into about 30 small diamond shapes with a sharp knife. Make sure you cut right through to the bottom, and try to avoid moving the top pastry layers. Sprinkle the surface with a few drops of water and bake for 15 minutes. Check that the pastry is not browning too quickly; if it is, cover loosely with aluminium foil. Bake for a further 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. Remove from the oven and immediately drizzle the rose–lime syrup over the baklava, allowing it to seep into all the cuts. If you like, garnish with pistachio slivers or rose petals, then set aside to cool. When completely cold, cover tightly with aluminium foil and store in a cool place until ready to serve. The baklava will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. Return to room temperature before serving with black tea or as an after-dinner treat with strong black coffee.
Tags:
Malouf
Greg
Lucy
Middle
Eastern
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