Just completed my baking project for the evening:
Yes, baklava. What else was I supposed to do with all that leftover filo?? :) Plus, you know you want to make some -- I promise it's easy. There are really only two tricks to working with filo:
1. Make sure the dough is completely thawed before you try to unroll it, otherwise it will crack and split into a million little pieces. (I give it at least 24 hours in the fridge to thaw completely.)
2. Cover the filo with a slightly damp towel while you are working with it, so it doesn't dry out.
And that's the magic! If you can make lasagna, you can make baklava.
1 lb filo dough, thawed
3/4 lb finely chopped walnuts
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch ground cloves
3 to 4 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) vegan butter, melted
2 additonal cups sugar
1 cup water
2 tbsp lemon juice
1. Combine walnuts, cinnamon, cloves, and 3 to 4 tbsp sugar.
2. Brush bottom and sides of 9X13 pan with butter. Layer 3 sheets filo, buttering each. Follow with a fine layer of nut mixture, and 2 filo, buttering the top sheet. Continue layering nuts and 2 filo, buttering the tops, until you run out of nuts. Finish with 3 sheets filo, buttering each.
3. Cut baklava into diamonds and bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes.
4. While baklava is in the oven, combine 2 cups sugar, water, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cook syrup for 5 mintues. Cool.
5. Pour syrup over hot baklava. Allow to cool to room temperature while syrup absorbs.
Most of the baklava will head into work tomorrow for a coworker's last day. She is taking a new position as a director of a child care center! We'll miss her, but what a great opportunity for her!