WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (Mass Appeal) - What food-lover hasn't had a craving for a sinfully sweet and flaky baklava? West Springfield's Turkish Cultural Center is always teaching and members, Dilyara Celik and Melek Kocak are spicing up the kitchen with their take on a traditional Turkish food.
- 1 lb. of chopped walnuts or pistachio nuts
- 1 package, or 16 oz. frozen phyllo dough, thawed according to package directions
- 1 cup of butter, melted or butter spray
- 1/3 cup of sugar
For the syrup
- 2 cups (1 lb) sugar
- 2 cups (16 fl oz) water
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F(175 degrees C). Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9 x 13 inch pan.
- Combine 1/3 cup sugar and nuts in a bowl. Set aside. Unroll phyllo dough. Cut whole stack in half to fit pan.
- Cover phyllo with a dampened cloth to keep from drying out as you work. Place two sheets of dough in pan, butter thoroughly.
- Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered. Sprinkle 2 - 3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. Top with two sheets of dough, butter, nuts, layering as you go. The top layer should be about 6 - 8 sheets deep.
- Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. Bake for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp.
- Make syrup while baklava is baking. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and pour syrup over top of baklava and allow to seep and saturate it well.
NOTES: Pour hot syrup over cool baklava or cool syrup over hot baklava to avoid it all seeping to the bottom and becoming soggy.