Pistachio Baklava

Arabic food has long influenced the Malaysian food culture, especially in the southern state of Johore. Of late, with an influx of Arab tourists and students, the influence has been greater nationwide. Arab restaurants now are very common and popular in Malaysia. Baklava especially has had an exceptionally favourable response as a delicacy. They are commonly eaten as well as given as gifts during the festive season.


Baklava

  • 2 cups of pistachio nuts, chopped
  • 1/2 kg of phyllo pastry sheets, thawed, separated & halved*
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves, cloves
  • 3 tbsp finely ground pistachio, as garnish

*Cover with damp cloth to prevent drying

Syrup

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Baklava Method

  1. In a bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon and pistachios.
  2. Place a phyllo pastry sheet onto a 9"x 13" greased pan.
  3. Brush the pastry all over with the melted butter quickly.
  4. Sprinkle the pistachio mixture thinly over the buttered pastry.
  5. Cover the nuts with 2 layers of the phyllo pastry, brushing thoroughly on top of each layer.
  6. Continue this process of layering the nut layer in between 2 layers of phyllo pastry until all the pistachio mixture has been used up, spreading butter on every layer of pastry.
  7. Cut layered baklava pastry into 2" diamond shapes using a sharp knife.
  8. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes or until brown & crisp.
  9. Spoon the syrup evenly over the hot baklava.
  10. Allow cooling for a minimum of 4 hours.
  11. Garnish with crushed pistachios.

Syrup Method

  1. In a saucepan, combine all the syrup ingredients.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce to medium heat & simmer for about 10-15 minutes until syrupy, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove the cinnamon stick.
  5. Allow to cool before pouring over the baked baklava.