Grainger market in Newcastle was recently open for late night shopping in an exclusive Grainger…
This citrus baklava contains sweet mixed peel with chopped nuts to make a delicious tea time treat. A twist on the traditional baklava, sweet dessert pastries full of nuts and held together with honey. A dish that is associated with the Eastern spice roads. Read on to find the recipe.
There is nothing I like more than exploring food markets. It is lovely to discover new local food producers like I did when I went to Jesmond Food Market. We always end up buying loads from local jams, chutneys and fudge to burgers which we eat on the go.I also look forward to the continental markets that appear in town, normally around Christmas. It is lovely to discover food from different countries. My son delighted in trying a kangaroo burger whilst I made the most of buying different cheeses, salamis and other produce to take home. We always make a point of getting a bag of Turkish Delight as they have a mix of different varieties to try. One of the things we discovered whilst we explored the continental market was baklava.
Baklava is a sweet pastry that is usually filled with nuts which is associated with the spice roads of the east. Baklava is found in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Thin dough was layered with nuts and sweetened with honey to make a dessert. This dessert got adapted over the years as it spread from country to country, Arabs sweetening it with rose water, Armenian’s using cinnamon. Whatever the variety of baklava they all are sweet and tasty. What I hadn’t realised was that baklava is made with filo pastry. The Ancient Greeks devised a way of making pastry into wafer thin sheets called fillo or phyllo which means leaf in Greek. Baklava was served on special occasions in wealthy households.
How to make Citrus Baklava
I have had some filo pastry in my freezer for ages. I bought some when I made a spiced turkey pie at Christmas. I wasn’t sure how many packets of filo pastry I would need and bought more than required. I thought that making baklava would be the ideal way to use it up. I also have loads of half opened packets of nuts in my cupboards. I buy a packet for a recipe and the recipe never uses the full packet. As baklava contains nuts this was a brilliant way to get rid of these packets. As I also had a lemon and a couple of oranges in my fruit bowl I decided I would make citrus baklava. The citrus would be used to make the sweet syrup to flavour the baklava.
I did wonder if the baklava would be hard to make but as it turned out it was not too difficult. The only hard part was chopping the nuts up into smaller pieces. Thinking about it afterwards I should have chucked the nuts into the food processor and chopped them that way, instead of using a knife. Hindsight is a wonderful thing! Either that or bought packets of chopped nuts. Making the baklava is really just a question of layering filo pastry in a tin and brushing each sheet with melted butter. Adding the chopped nuts mixed with cinnamon and sugar on top of the pastry and then adding more pastry layers. This is then baked for half an hour. The final touch is to make a syrup using the citrus fruits and sugar which is poured over the top of the pastries while they are still warm. Leave to cool and then indulge in a sweet treat. These are perfect served with a cup of coffee to balance the sweetness.
Citrus baklava recipe
- 400 g packet filo pastry
- 125 g butter
- 100 g walnut pieces
- 100 g shelled pistachio nuts
- 100 g flaked almonds
- 75 g caster sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- For syrup
- 1 lemon
- 1 orange
- 250 g caster sugar
- pinch ground cinnamon
- 150 ml water
- Chop the nuts into small pieces then dry fry in a pan for 3-4 minutes until slightly browned.
- Leave the nuts to cool then stir in the sugar and cinnamon.
- Line a small roasting tin with baking parchment
- Preheat the oven to 180C Gas Mark 4
- Unroll the filo pastry and place it piece by piece in rectangles the same size as the roasting tin.
- Each layer should be brushed with melted butter. I used six layers for the base
- Place the nut mixture onto the pastry.
- Add more layers of filo pastry on the top of the nut mixture, brushing each layer with butter.
- Cut the pastry into six square and each square into four triangles.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. After ten minutes cover with tin foil to stop it going over brown.
- While it is baking make the syrup.
- Peel the rind off the lemon and orange and cut into small strips
- Add this to a pan with the juice from the lemon and orange.
- Add the sugar, cinnamon and water
- Heat gently until the sugar dissolves then bring to a simmer and simmer for five minutes.
- When the pastry comes out of the oven pour the hot syrup over the top
- Leave to cool then chill for three hours
Have you ever tried baklava? What did you think?
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Linking up with the kitchen clearout linky on Madhouse Family Reviews as I managed to get rid of loads of half opened packets of nuts and filo pastry.