Sweet pistachio nests

Sweet pistachio nests

Bülbül yuvası

By
From
Istanbul
Makes
12-14
Photographer
Steven Joyce

Because they are made with pistachio and sugar syrup, these pastries taste similar to baklava. Baklava makers in Istanbul inspire great debate about their relative merits, and most people have a favourite store – mine is a little spot called Bilgeoğlu in Kadıköy on the Asian side, where they’ve been making nothing but baklava since 1956. Such is their love of the pastries, some locals can manage a portion of six pieces in one go, as a between-meals snack, but I can’t manage more than two. Baklava are notoriously difficult to make, but these nests are much simpler while still looking pretty impressive.

Sugar syrup

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
250g caster sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Nests

Quantity Ingredient
200g walnut pieces
200g unsalted pistachios, shelled
1 tablespoon sugar
75g butter, melted
12-14 sheets rectangular yufka or filo dough
ice cream or clotted cream, to serve (optional)

Method

  1. Make the sugar syrup: heat 200 ml water with the sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan, stirring until dissolved. Bring to the boil then remove from the heat, cool, and chill until required.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Mix 165 g of the walnuts, 165 g of the pistachios and the sugar together and blitz in food processor or crush in a pestle and mortar until the mixture resembles rough sand (make sure there are no big chunks of nut which will puncture the pastry and make the coils split). The remaining nuts are for decoration, so crush them more coarsely.
  3. Butter a baking dish approximately 25 × 40 cm. Open the packet of pastry and cover the sheets with a damp cloth. Lay a sheet of pastry on a work surface. Brush it lightly with melted butter. Across one of the narrow ends of the sheet, thinly spread a heaped tablespoon of the ground nuts.
  4. Grease your oklava or improvised rolling pin and lay it across that end of the sheet of pastry, in line with the edge. Begin to wrap the pastry around it, enclosing the nuts in a tube. Roll the pin along the whole sheet until all the pastry is wrapped around it. Very gently, push the pastry towards the middle of the pin from either end so that it crinkles and bunches up like a haphazard concertina. Then slowly slide the whole thing off the pin. Tuck one crinkled end in on itself and wrap the rest around in a coil. Place in the baking dish and brush with plenty of melted butter. Repeat to make the remaining coils.
  5. When all of the coils have been made, check that they all have a good glaze of melted butter and then bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until they are golden brown. Remove from the oven and, while they are still hot, pour over the sugar syrup. Allow to cool and then scatter the remaining nuts in the centre of each coil. Serve as an afternoon snack, or with a dollop of ice cream or clotted cream as a dessert.

Tip

  • In Turkey bülbül yuvası are made by wrapping the dough round an oklava, a long thin rolling pin. I use a piece of 2 cm wooden dowling, 40 cm long but anything similar will do – even a clean piece of old pipe.
Course:
Dessert
Tags:
Istanbul
Turkey
Turkish
Rebecca
Seal
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again