Authentic Turkish Baklava
Buttery, flaky puff pastry soaked in honey and sugar with tender pistachios stuffed between layers of dough. This Baklava recipe reigns from Turkey were the best pistachios in the world are found. Serve for Easter, Christmas or any holiday.
This time of year, is all about baklava. I just love the bold flavors of the savory pistachios and sweet honey sugar with crispy layers of phyllo dough. The first time I made this dessert was last year with my dear Turkish friend. This dish is pretty simple to make. The key to making this Turkish Pistachio Baklava is to use a good quality puff pastry. Of course, homemade puff pastry or phyllo dough would be wonderful, but the frozen puff pastry in today’s grocery store is pretty good and will be excellent for this recipe.
Last year I had a friend from Turkey visit for nearly 3 month. We covered everything, from tea time to making Turkish coffee, eating Turkish Delight candy, grilling lamb kebabs and baking some of Turkey’s finest desserts. I think he must of gotten sick of me asking; How do you make authentic baklava? By the end of his stay, we made it — and not just once, but a few times!
There is something special about making Turkish Baklava with someone who reigns from the region. Maybe it’s the cooking technique or maybe it’s finding that no matter where you are from that food is a universal language that brings everyone together.
What I love about this recipe is how simple it is to make. It seems a lot of Turkish food is simple, yet makes a pretty presentation with delicious flavors. For this recipe, I did special order pistachios from Turkey, which seems to make all the difference.
Pistachio Baklava is perfect for the holidays. My grandma would serve this rich dessert for Christmas and it always made the menu for Easter.
Turkish Pistachio Baklava
- 2 lbs puff pastry sheets
- 4 cups pistachios , shelled, coarsely minced
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 cups melted butter
- 1 cup finely minced pistachios , to garnish
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll all 4 puff pastry sheets to fit a 9 x 11 baking dish; set aside. Grease pan with room temperature butter. Place 1 rolled sheet of puff pastry into pan then grease pastry sheet with butter. Place another layer of puff pastry on top, then grease with butter.
In medium bowl, combine coarsely chopped pistachios, honey, sugar and water and mix. Pour mixture over puff pastry sheets in dish. Place another puff pastry sheet over the top of the mixture, then grease it with butter. Place the last puff pastry on top and pour remaining butter on top. Use a sharp knife to cut baklava in the shape of a diamond or square.
Place baklava in oven and bake for 90 minutes. The top of the puff pastry should be light golden color and the papers should appear crispy. Meanwhile, grind or chop the remaining pistachios into an almost fine dust or finely chopped. Allow baklava to cool then garnish with pistachios.