This easy, homemade baklava is the perfect springtime dessert for any occasion!
Baklava was one of those desserts that I always assumed was too laborious or cumbersome to tackle. All of those layers of crispy, flaky pastry, filled with some aromatic, delicious nut filling? There’s no way that I could attempt such a complicated feat.
It was surprisingly easy. The only thing it really took was time and patience. Which are two things I didn’t have before now.
Side-tracking ever so slightly, the level of time I have free now is actually kind of startling. As many of you may, or may not know, I went from full-time to part-time with my official gig. That means 20 hours of my life is now freed up to do whatever I want. To be honest, it was terrifying at first. Luckily I had so much unpacking to do I didn’t really notice. However, now that most of the boxes are gone, I’m finding so many ways to soak up those hours in a way that’s healthy and good for me.
To start with, I’m spending more time freelancing – which helps financially and with my portfolio. Oh, and you may have noticed that more than 1 recipe a year is posted on this blog now 🙂 I’m going back to a 3 – 4 day a week posting schedule to bring back the love I once had for blogging, cooking and food styling.
Oh, and I’ve lost 4 pounds. Less snacking and more time to work out can really do that for you. I’m determined to finally get back in shape and make this blog a business again, and so far, it all seems to be working out.
With those updates out of the way, let’s go back to the baklava. My husband took this pan to work with him and his colleagues devoured it. I was worried it would be “too sweet,” but was welcomed with nothing but crumbs when he got home. The pastry was perfectly flakey, the delicious filling was just sweet enough and the addition of fresh berries added a natural element normal baklava is missing.
If you’re looking for a sweet treat that’s not as heavy as cake or as fatty as cookies, this is for you. Plus, it’s just so darn pretty – it’ll liven up those dreary winter days in no time.
Easy Homemade Baklava
Yields about 32 servings. Adapted from All Recipes.
Prep time: 15 – 20 minutes
Cook time: About 40 – 50 minutes
- 1 cup chopped almonds
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 2/3 cup pistachios
- 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 16 ounce package phyllo dough, thawed
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 2 cups blueberries and raspberries
- Fresh whipped cream for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the nuts and cinnamon together. While working with the phyllo dough, make sure to cover the other stack with a damp cloth to avoid drying.
- Carefully peel 2 sheets of phyllo dough apart. Stack them on top of each other into the bottom of the 9 x 13-inch pan. Brush the top of the dough with melted butter and sprinkle with 2 to 3 tablespoons of nuts and cinnamon. Repeat the layers, 2 sheets at a time, being sure to brush the tops liberally with butter and nuts. Once you’re done, your last layer should be 3 to 4 sheets of phyllo dough.
- Using a sharp knife, cut diagonal slits in the top to make about 34 diamonds. Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 -45 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Let cool.
- Meanwhile, make the syrup by mixing the sugars, water and vanilla together. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low. Stir in the honey. Reduce to low and let simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Pour the syrup over the baklava. Let cool for about an hour.
- Once cool, stack the tops with fresh whipped cream and berries.
Nutritional information per serving (about 2 squares):
Fat: 14 grams
Fiber: 1.9 gram
Protein: 5 grams
Weight Watchers Points: 7