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Friday, June 22, 2012

Baklava (Soy, Fish and Egg-Free)

This recipe I got from my mother. I'm not exactly sure where it originated from, but this is her favorite version. Normally I make it without the coconut since my husband doesn't like it. It is one of those desserts that people think is just super hard and fancy, but, honestly, it's not that hard. It does take a little time, but the steps are easy, and it's hard to mess up. :) 

Please note that this recipe is only soy-free if you use all soy-free ingredients, and is fish and egg-free.

16 oz. package frozen, soy-free phyllo dough (thawed) (Such as Athens Fillo Dough)
(either one 18x14 inch package cut in 1/2 to 9x14 or two 9x14 packages)

6 oz. (1 1/2 Cups) finely chopped pecans

1 Cup coconut (optional)

1/4 Cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 Cup salted, full-fat butter, melted

1 1/2 Cup white sugar

1 1/2 Cup water

4 Tablespoons (1/4 Cup) honey

2 Tablespoons (1/8 Cup) lemon juice

1. Pre-heat oven to 350oF.

2. Remove thawed dough from the box, cut in half to 9x14 size if need be and then cover with a damp cloth.

3. Butter bottom of a 13x9x2 pan.

4. In medium bowl, combine pecans, coconut (if using), brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg; set aside.

5. Layer 15 sheets of phyllo dough, buttering each sheet as you layer it (keep the dough you are not using covered with a damp cloth so it doesn't dry out).

6. Sprinkle 1/2 the nut mixture on dough in the pan.

7. Repeat with 15 more layers of phyllo dough, buttering each sheet as you layer it.

8. Sprinkle the rest of the mixture on top.

9. Top with the remaining sheets of phyllo dough, buttering each sheet as you layer it until all sheets are used, making sure to butter the top layer. (Please note that you may need to melt more butter at some point. Occasionally this dough soaks up more butter than normal, so don't be surprised if you end up using up to a 1/2 Cup more than planned.)

10. Score the top of the pastry into diamond shapes (cut about 1/4 inch deep). (To score the top: Put a toothpick in ever 2 1/2 inches on the long side, and every 1 3/4 inches on the short side. Use a ruler to mark lines, and score from pick to pick with a sharp knife.)

11. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until pastry is deep, golden brown.

12. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine sugar, water and honey and bring to a gentle boil.

13. Gently boil sugar mixture (uncovered) for 10 minutes; remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.

14. Pour sugar syrup over hot pastry. (Do this slowly as it will bubble up some and steam.)

15. Cut into diamond shapes along scored lines, then let cool completely.

This makes about 36 small pieces, depending on how you slice it. :)
(This recipe was originally posted on my original site, Natural and Free.)

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