aI love cooking for people adore Watch reruns of Poirot and play a round of Who Am I? Christmas day. This means cooking ahead, and something like this baklava is a little easier. It has all the fun and flavor of Christmas, but without the faff. “Building” is actually an assembly process because it is made by hand. And, like me, you’ll be fine and comfortable for a week or so.
This recipe can easily be doubled. You’ll need a food processor for nuts and a 25cm x 25cm deep baking tray (you can use a larger tray, but it won’t fit the phyllo snugly). Please give me.
Preparation 10 minutes
cooking 1 hour 20 minutes, cooling
make about 35 sheets
100g caster sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon brandy
125g shelled walnutsfinely ground
125g shelled pistachiosCrush finely (set aside 20 g for finishing)
1¼ tsp allspice
¼ tsp fine sea salt
1 lemon peel
190g minced meat
100g vegan unsalted butter,melted
1 x 270g pack filo pastry (i.e. 7 sheets)
First make the syrup. This needs to be chilled before being poured over the baklava so it doesn’t get soggy on the bottom. Put sugar, 100ml of water, and lemon juice in a small saucepan, bring to a boil over low to medium heat, and simmer for about 8 minutes until the back of a spoon touches the water. Add the brandy and simmer for an additional minute, turn off the heat and let cool.
Now for filling. Place nuts in a bowl, add allspice, salt and skins and mix. Add minced meat and marzipan and mix.
Heat the oven to 170C (150C fan)/325F/gas. 3. Melt the butter in the microwave and remove the phyllo from the refrigerator. Place the phyllo sheets in a stack, cut in half vertically from top to bottom, and stack to form 14 small pastries. Brush again, place on another phyllo sheet and repeat until 7 sheets are used up. But don’t butter the top sheet. Tilt the nut and ground meat filling up and use a wet spoon to press the filling down evenly to the edges of the pastry. Place another phyllo on top, butter it, and repeat with the remaining six pieces of his pastry. Press down well with your hand, cut at 4cm intervals from the upper left to the lower right, then diagonally from the upper right to the lower left.
Bake for 1 hour until golden brown, remove from oven and spoon syrup over top. Sprinkle with the reserved pistachios and cool on a tray. To serve, slice again and then lever the baklava onto a large platter or small individual plates.