July 12, 2017
Desserts, Fancy/Entertaining, Dairy,
Nuts/Seeds, Walnut, Fruit, Lemon, Cooking For A Crowd, Make-Ahead, Christmas, Easter, Entertaining, Fall/Autumn, New Years, Potluck, Winter, Oven Bake, Stove Top, Vegetarian, Make it from scratch, Butter/Margarine, Kosher Dairy more
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"This is my mother-in-laws recipe. In my opinion, this exceeds all of the baklava's that I have had and have bought at Greek shops, etc. (Greeks, please do not take offense, but hers is GREAT). My mother-in-law perfected this recipe, but she had not written it down. Finally, I watched her make it and wrote it step by step, measurement-by-measurement to make sure I got it right. I've had this recipe for a while now and wasn't sure if I wanted to post it, but I'd like to share with those who also may enjoy it. In Madeline's memory...ENJOY BAKLAVA."
In a bowl, combine the chopped walnuts, cinnamon, and sugar making sure all ingredients are well distributed. Set aside.
Have 2 small saucepans ready: To one saucepan melt ½ pound (2 sticks) butter and 3 T. Crisco. In 2nd saucepan melt ½ pound (2 sticks) butter and 3 T. Crisco.
Using the melted butter from the 1st saucepan, butter a 9 x 13” pan or larger size jelly roll pan.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Carefully remove phyllo sheets from one of the boxes and cover with towel to prevent it from drying out (Refer to Note 1 below). Trim sheet to fit the bottom of pan. (Save trimmings and distribute evenly between each layer).
With a pastry brush, butter phyllo, cover with 2nd phyllo sheet and butter again, repeat with the 3rd sheet.
Cover with 4th sheet and butter every other sheet until all sheets from first box are used. Make sure top layer is buttered.
Evenly spread walnut mixture over buttered phyllo.
Using the phyllo from the 2nd box, cover walnuts with phyllo sheet, trimming phyllo sheet to cover walnuts evenly.
Using melted butter from 2nd saucepan, butter every other sheet, making sure that the top 3 sheets of phyllo are each buttered.
Place pan in a cool place or refrigerate to set butter (Can be done for an hour or overnight).
Once the butter has hardened, with a sharp serrated knife, cut phyllo dough to form diamond shapes being careful to make sure baklava doesn’t come apart, but remains neatly in pan.
Make sure you cut all the way through to the very bottom of pan and setting tops back on if they become dislodged (a sharp serrated knife with a point if essential). Place pan back in the refrigerator if butter has warmed up while you were cutting.
Bake baklava for 35 – 40 minutes until golden brown.
Place sugar in a medium size saucepan. Add water and let come to a boil until sugar has dissolved.
Let it boil for about 1 – 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add lemon juice; stir to combine.
Place syrup back on stove top and let come to a boil again for about 1 - 2 minutes more. Remove from stovetop; stir.
Place on stovetop again and boil for about 1-2 minutes, (for a total of 3 times taking it on and off the stove), set aside.
Pour cooled syrup over warm (Refer to NOTE 2, below) baklava while still in the pan. Spoon syrup evenly over baklava.
Let stand at room temperature for several hours before serving.
Makes approximately 6 – 7 dozen mini diamond shaped baklava’s
*NOTE 2: The baklava shouldn’t be cooled all the way through when syrup is added, this helps syrup permeate the baklava*
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I love that this isn't as sweet as the Greek baklava that's full of honey. The lemony flavor is definitely different, in a very good way! I only made half a recipe, and am glad I did - otherwise I would be eating way more of this baklava than I should! Thanks for posting your precious Mom's recipe for all of us to enjoy! Made for CQ4 play, Team Happy Campers.