Whenever people find out I’m into cooking they usually ask me where my inspiration comes from. And today’s recipe for walnut & pistachio baklava is inspired by one of my favourite cooking shows: My Kitchen Rules (Australia). I am OBSESSED with this show, I watch one episode every night and I am dreading the day I run out of episodes. But anyway, the other day someone made baklava and although it got mixed reviews on the show, I looooove baklava so decided to give it a try myself as I had to make another filo recipe that weekend and had bought too much pastry anyway.
Now, is this easy to make? Hell yeah. Is it easy to eff up? Yep. Your sugar syrup could be too sweet or not sweet enough, you could have too much/not enough honey or nuts. Your pastry could burn or get soggy. But if I can get it right on the first attempt, I know you can do too if you follow the instructions exactly.
I went for a very basic nut mixture of pistachio and walnut. You can experiment here as much as you want, it won’t affect the recipe at all so if you’re allergic to or simply don’t like any of these 2 nuts you can easily replace them. I added some almond flakes on top cause my friend who’s from the Middle East recommended and I consider him to be a baklava expert. For the syrup that we drown the baklava in at the end I did try to tweak it a little bit by adding orange juice. It’s a very subtle flavour though as it’s only a small amount but it was a very tasty addition. You can also make it with rose water, but I find it very hard to come by and it’s a very risky ingredient to use as it can become very overpowering. If I do someday come across rose water again I’ll definitely make a baklava recipe with it too though.
Walnut & pistachio baklava with almond flakes & orange sugar syrup
- 200g walnuts
- 200g pistachio nuts (without shell, it's about 300g with shells)
- 110g unsalted butter
- handful almond flakes
- 200ml water
- 250g caster sugar
- 6 tablespoons of honey + extra to drizzle
- 1/2 orange
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 270g filo pastry (7 layers)
Chop the nuts into smaller pieces, avoid it turning into dust though
Preheat the oven to 170°C fan
Melt butter at low heat
Take out the dish you'll be placing the baklava in
Cover the filo sheets with a damp towel and take one out, place it on parchment paper on your baking tray. Brush melted butter on top of the sheet. Add 2 more sheets and brush each one with melted butter after you place it on top of the previous one.
Spread out the nuts on top, drizzle honey all over them, I used about 2 tablespoons
Add 2 more layers of filo pastry and again, brush each one with melted butter
Spread the remainder of the nuts on top, drizzle honey over the top (again - about 2 tablespoons)
Add our last 2 layers of filo (don't forget to brush with melted butter, including the very last sheet)
Slice up the layers now in bitesize pieces. This isn't too easy as the filo will be greasy and might start sliding away but don't give up! Make sure you cut the bottom layers as well, avoid cutting into your baking tray though.
Sprinkle almond flakes on top and pop in the oven for 20 minutes
Meanwhile add sugar, water, juice from half an orange, 5 tablespoons of honey and cinnamon to a pot and heat at low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil and let it boil until about half has dissolved. I read somewhere it should have the consistency of runny honey, but that only happens after it starts cooling down so don't panic if it's not that consistency when it's still boiling.
Let it cool down as much as possible, to avoid it making the baklava soggy. If it's not cooling down fast enough you can fill up a big pot or your sink with cold water and put the pot with the syrup inside.
Keep an eye on the baklava in the last minutes to avoid it burning. Make sure they are golden brown, if they are too pale you can leave them in longer.
Once they are done, pour the sugar syrup all over them and let them cool down before serving