An Ottoman legacy, baklava is one of the greatest creations from the pastry chefs at the Topkapi Palace. Generally, baklava is enjoyed as a mid-morning sweet snack with a cup of Turkish coffee, or as a mid-afternoon treat with a glass of tea or after lunch or dinner. There is no bad time for a good piece of baklava! The real thing shouldn’t be very sweet and heavy; on the contrary it should be light enough to tempt you to eat a small plateful.
I am passionate about my homeland’s delicious, healthy Turkish cuisine; this baklava recipe and over 90 authentic Turkish recipes are included at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland; Signed hardback copies are now 30 % OFF here, and delivered worldwide, including the US – ebook option available too. Afiyet Olsun.
This recipe is an adaptation from Ghillie Basan’s The Complete Book of Turkish Cooking, one of my favorite Turkish cookery authors. My version of baklava is less sweet and more fragrant and lemony, must say really pleased with it. With using filo pastry sheets, baklava is much easier to make than you think. I hope you would give it a go sometime and enjoy this wonderful treat.
Also, here is my Baklava YouTube video, I hope you enjoy it:
Preparation time :20 minutes Cooking time: 45 – 50 minutes
230 gr/ 8oz / 1 cup melted unsalted butter
440 gr/1 lb. 2 packs of filo pastry sheets – total 24 sheets –
375 gr/ 13 oz. walnuts and unsalted pistachios, finely chopped
10 ml / 2 tsp ground cinnamon
For the syrup:
450 gr/ 2 ¼ cups sugar
420 ml/ 14 fl. oz. / 1 ¾ cup water
Juice of ½ large lemon
30cmx19 cm (12inx7in) baking dish to bake
Ground pistachio nuts to sprinkle over the baklavas
Preheat the oven to 160 C/ 325 F / Gas 3
Make the syrup first. Put the sugar into a heavy pan, pour in water and bring to the boil, stirring all the time. When the sugar is dissolved, lower the heat and stir in the lemon juice, them simmer for about 15 minutes, until the syrup thickens. Leave to cool in the pan.
Melt the butter in a small pan and then brush a little over the bottom and sides of the baking pan.
To thaw frozen filo sheets, it is best to place it in the fridge the night before and bring it to room temperature 2 hours before using. If in the fridge, take out the filo pastry sheets 20 minutes prior using, to bring to the room temperature. Place two sheets of filo pastry in the bottom of the greased pan and brush it with melted butter (trim from the edges to fit, if needed). Continue until you have used 12 filo sheets, brushing every two sheets with butter. Ease the sheets into the corners and trim the edges if they flop over the rim of the pan.
Spread the walnuts over the 12th buttered sheet and sprinkle with the cinnamon, and then continue as before with the remaining filo sheets. Brush the top one as well, then, using a sharp knife cut diagonal parallel lines right through all the layers to the bottom to form small diamond shapes.
Bake the baklava into the oven for about 45 minutes or until the top is golden – if it is still pale, increase the temperature for a few minutes at the end.
When the baklava is ready, remove it from the oven and slowly pour the cooled syrup over the piping hot pastry. Return to the oven for 2-3 minutes to soak up the syrup, then take it out and leave to cool.
Once the baklava is cool, lift the diamond shaped pieces out of the pan and arrange them in a serving dish. Serve baklava pieces with ground pistachios over them, always at room temperature.
Note: Baklava should never be stored at the refrigerator, as the fat congeals, pastry absorbs the moisture and it becomes soggy.
Your baklava looks so mouthwatering Özlem! Perfect treat for any celebration! I love when it’s not too sweet, and flavoring it with lemon is a great idea!
Merhaba Zerrin, thank you so much 🙂 I agree with you, baklava is a perfect fit for any celebration -I like to make my own as you can adjust the syrup to your liking, a little less sweet and a bit lemony for me : ) sevgiler, Ozlem
Looks and sounds delicious Ozlem! I like te sound of the refreshing lemon too 🙂
Thank you Jo, it is a pleasant surprise to witness that you can make baklava at home, easily, and tastes pretty good – love the little refreshing lemon kick; thank you for stopping by;)
Phyllo sheets’i tek tek ust uste aralarini hic yaglamadan seriyorum, orta kisima cekilmis “pecan nut” koyuyorum, ve her yaprak bitene kadar sermeye devam ediyorum. Bu islem bitip baklavayi dilim dilim kestikten sonra tereyagi yada zeytinyagini ustunde gezdirince, yag, hem o an, hemde piserken her katin arasina, kendiliginden yayiliyor, aynisi serbetini dokerken de oluyor. Boylece baklava yapimi cok kolay oluyor, yurt disinda yasayanlara bu yolu tavsiye ederim.
Merhabalar, paylasiminiz icin cok tesekkurler, bu metodu denemek isterim – ellerinize saglik.
Hi,thank you for the great baklava recipe. I made it and it turned out amazing. I am an Iranian Azeri living in orumieh near Turkey and I have traveled to Turkey several times and oh I love Turkish baklava. Again I thank you for this recipe. I will be making this over and over again !
Dear Sara, delighted to hear you enjoyed the baklava recipe, thank you so much for letting me know. I love our baklava too; I hope you can visit Turkey again soon : ) Cok Selamlar, Ozlem
Merhaba! I made this recipe last night, it was very delicious and easy to make! The only thing is that mine was not as puffy, as your pictures look. I know the Baklavas are supposed to be fuller, any idea why that happens? Too much butter? :/
Merhaba Maryam, many thanks for your comment, glad you enjoyed your home made baklava! Filo pastry sheets vary from country to country (size as well as texture, some more moist, some drier), so that may be an effect. Once pouring the syrup baking again for3 – 5 mins helps to puff up, perhaps a little more time baking to get that puffy, crispy texture. You can also use less butter if you prefer. Generally the bottom half is moister than the top half, as it absorbs more syrup. Hope this helps, do let me know if you have any other questions.
Hello there, Can vegetable ghee be used instead of butter?
Merhaba, sure, you can use – hope you enjoy making baklava at home.
Hi, is it possible to replace the sugar syrup with honey?
Hello Adrian, thank you for stopping by – you can use honey instead though honey will be more intense and richer so you need to adjust the amount to your taste, hope you enjoy it.
Hi Ozlem, I’m in England and use the Jus-rol frozen filo pastry. It has 7 large sheets , would I cut them in half to fit my dish of 13′ by 9′ dimensions or is it better to use a larger tray that fits the dimensions of the filo?? Thank you
Merhaba, I sometimes use those sheets too; depending on for many people you are making it for, you could cut in half to make a smaller portion. I would at least use 14 sheets – or even another pack – if possible though to have enough layers, I hope you enjoy it, Afiyet Olsun, Ozlem
How far in adavance can I make this for an event? How do you store it?
Merhaba Gina, you can make baklava a good 2-3 days ahead of time; please store in room temperature, covered. Hope you enjoy it, Afiyet Olsun, Ozlem
I’m a English lady who loves in turkey – I’m in uk visiting family and made this for everyone today
It was amazing
Merhaba dear Becky, so glad you enjoyed making baklava with my recipe, Afiyet Olsun, thank you for your kind note. Just to let you know that my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table is now available and have many classic Turkish recipes including baklava, if ever interested. Signed copies now on offer at this link, many thanks and enjoy your visits to Turkey : ) https://www.gbpublishing.co.uk/product-page/ozlem-s-turkish-table-hardback
Aradaki layer 375 gr walnut mi yoksa pistachio mu veya ikisinin karisimi mi olacak. Yani 375 gr walnut or pistachio mu olmaliydi acaba diye dusunmekteyim. 🙂
Merhabalar, evet walnut ve pistachio karisimi, toplam 375 gr olarak, cok tesekkurler, Sevgiler, Ozlem
Thank you so much for the recipe. I am English, married to a Turkish man and keep trying your recipes. So far he has been very pleased. I have just made your baklava, it is not perfect but does look delicious. Waiting for it to cool then I will taste.
Thank you so much for your kind note – really delighted you enjoyed making baklava and your Turkish husband impressed, big compliment : ) One of the most popular recipes at my cookery book, so lovely folks enjoy making it at home, Afiyet olsun, Ozlem
Your baklava recipe is really good and look delicious. Also I think that your recipe is the original Turkish version. If I’m not wrong, making the syrup with honey is Greek style, I’m sure the Greek version is delicious too, but in Turkey, I never see baklava syrup with honey. 🙂
Merhaba Simge, many thanks for your kind note – yes my baklava recipe is as near as it can get to the real thing : ) I don’t like it too sweet, and fragrant; yes no honey in our traditional recipe. Tesekkurler, afiyet olsun, Ozlem
Thank you for sharing my baklava article!
Many thanks for your kind mention!