Baklava made with candied oranges, pistachio, cardamom, cinnamon and honey
- 250g Filo pastry (you’ll need 18 sheets)
- 200g unsalted butter, melted
- For the filling:
- 300g shelled pistachios
- 30g caster sugar
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 70g candied orange peel, roughly chopped (I used homemade)
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 pinches fine salt
- For the syrup:
- 200g water
- 350g runny honey (I used orange blossom)
- 70g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp (12g) orange blossom water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
- To decorate:
- 1 tbsp finely chopped pistachios
- 1 tbsp finely chopped candied orange peel
Directions (makes about 40 pieces)
- Butter the base and sides of a 9 x 13 inch deep tin.
- First, make the filling. In a food processor, blitz the pistachios until they are medium ground – you still want to see a few medium sized lumps and you do not want to turn it into a fine powder.
- Next, add the sugar, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, lemon zest and orange peel. Blitz again for about 30 seconds and set aside.
- Cut your filo sheets to size, it’s okay to patch it up as you go along. Keep the filo under a damp towel to stop it drying out.
- Lay 1 sheet of filo at the base of the tin and brush over the whole surface evenly with melted butter. I found it easier to use a silicone pastry brush.
- Lay another sheet of filo and brush with butter. Carry on until you have 6 layers of filo, each brushed with butter.
- Sprinkle over 1/3 pistachio mixture and push down to get an even surface and to help the nuts adhere to the filo underneath.
- Add another sheet of filo, brush with butter and repeat twice more, totaling 3 sheets of filo brushed with butter.
- Sprinkle over another 1/3 of the pistachio mixture as before.
- Add another sheet of filo, brush with butter and repeat twice more, totaling 3 sheets of filo brushed with butter in between the layers.
- Sprinkle over the last 1/3 of the pistachio mixture and finally, top with another 6 sheets of filo brushed with butter in between the layers.
- Brush a little extra butter on the top layer. Please note, you may not need to use all your butter (I had about 3-4 tbsp leftover).
- So to re-cap, you have 6 layers of filo – 1/3 pistachio – 3 layers of filo – 1/3 pistachio – 3 layers of filo – 1/3 pistachio – 6 layers of filo, with all the layers brushed with butter.
- Chill for 1 hr in the fridge.
- Cut your filo with a sharp knife in the desired pattern. I cut mine horizontally at 1.5 inch intervals, and then again diagonally.
- Chill for another 20 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 160c fan.
- Next, make the syrup. In a medium sized saucepan combine all the ingredients. Place over a medium-high heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside.
- Bake the baklava for 40-50 minutes until golden brown.
- Leave to cool for 20 minutes.
- Remove the cinnamon and cardamom from the syrup. Pour the syrup down the lines and sides of the baklava. Make sure it comes to a few millimeters below the top of the pastry; you may not need to use all the syrup.
- Leave to set for several hours at room temperate, (I left mine overnight).
- Decorate with the chopped pistachios and orange peel and enjoy.
These will last a week at room temperature when store in a sealed, air-tight container.
You can substitute the orange peel for any type of fruit peel, or more nuts.
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