You can contribute your own recipe by typing it up on your blog, then following the prompts below to link it up to this hop! I'm super excited about the possibilities of this hop because (goshdarnit) layered desserts are diverse but simultaneously delicious!
So without much further ado I should get started on telling you about my (dastardly) plans for my layered recipe...
I just love baklava. All those layers and layers of pastry and thick, sweet delicious sauce, with the nuts! (OH MY!) However, I also like playing with traditional recipes, investigating flavours and seeing if I can make something new and different with the concept of a traditional dessert. Once I made a baklava cheesecake. (Yeah... it was pretty delicious.)
So I'm going to try a little experiment. I'm going to try and take a traditional baklava recipe and adapt it to include some of my favourite flavours IN THE WORLD AND EVER.
I am going to try to create a recipe that meets the following prerequisites.
1) My lovely friend Kate adores baklava... but she's allergic to oranges. Recently at a dinner party she had to watch us all eat baklava while she went without because George Colombaris' baklava recipe has orange juice in it. She was terribly sad and hungry and sad. This will not happen again. My baklava recipe will have zero oranges. ZERO.
2) Someone once told me that the measure of a good piece of baklava is if when you bite into it the syrup runs down your arm in a sticky, delicious trail. I'm going to try and make this a reality. Then I'm going to try to take pictures, so we can all watch the sticky mess unfolding (and drool.)
3) I want to include one of my favourite dessert flavour combinations in this baklava: pear, hazelnuts, rose water, vanilla and lemon. Hopefully it will all work out and not be a disaster. That would be super awkward (and lame.) Also I have dreams of serving this with some marscarpone. Then I have dreams of eating it all and sitting in a pear, hazeltnut and rose bakalava with marscarpone stupor for at least 2 hours.
|An actual and real picture of some of the things I made my baklava with|
Also: I would like to inform you that I made this dessert with the lovely Ai-Ling from The Food Endeavours of the Blue Apocalypse and Lauren from Corridor Kitchen because Lauren was totally visiting us on a food adventure in Perth this weekend just past. Here are some pictures I took to prove this actually happened and that we ate lots of food:
So here you go, the much anticipated (or perhaps not so much) recipe for my twist on baklava...
Pear, Hazelnut and Rose Baklava with Marscarpone
Makes about 10 serves
The pastry part:
4 med sized pears (bartlett)
1 tsp lemon juice
200g blanched almonds2 tbsp sugar
3 tsp rose water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 packet filo (I didn't quite use all of one)
The syrup part:
1 vanilla bean (split)
400 ml water
300g caster sugar
2 tbsp rose water
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cardamom pod
zest of 1 lemon
For serving (optional)
Edible rose petals
Peel you pears with a vegetable peeler.
Now you need to cut the pears up, you need slices that are not thicker than a cm, I cut my pears into quarters first, then took the seeds out, then sliced them.
Fry the pears in a large frying pan with 10-15g of the butter and the tsp of lemon juice on a medium heat. You'll need to turn the pears occasionally. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the pear is cooked through but still firm and looks a little like this:
Place your nuts in the baking dish you intend to use for your baklava, I used a ceramic rectangular baking dish, about the same size as a piece of A4 paper (20cmx30cm), it'll aslo need to be fairly deep based, at least 5 cm, preferably more.
Place these under the grill for 2 minutes, then stir to prevent burning. Grill for a further 3-5 minutes, until the nuts are starting to brown slightly but not burn.
In a food processor, combine the 2 tbsp sugar, 3 tsp rose water and cinnamon with a third of your nuts. Blitz for a couple of seconds, add another third of the nuts, blitz for another few seconds, then add the final third of nuts and blitz until the last pieces you added are broken down slightly (there are still chunks remaining, but not whole nuts). Putting the nuts in a little at a time in this ways ensures that you get a range of different nut textures.
Open your filo pastry, you'll need to lay it out flat and cover it with a clean damp (NOT wet, wring it out WELL) tea-towel, to stop the filo drying out.
Each time you take a new piece of pastry, fold back your tea towel, then replace it back on top of the pastry.
Preheat your oven to 175C.
Melt the remaining butter in the microwave, then grease your baking dish lightly with it. Place your first layer of filo pastry on the base of your dish, you might have some hanging over the edge, then butter what's sitting on the base of the dish, fold over the overhanging pastry and brush this with butter. Be fairly generous with your butter as seen here:
Lay some more pastry on top of this pastry, brush with brush with butter. For each new layer of filo pastry, brush butter over the top before adding the next layer. Continue this process until you have 12-16 layers of filo pastry, then scatter half of the nut mixture over the top of this top layer, spread out evenly and press down slightly:
Place a sheet of filo on top of this and repeat the butter, filo process for a further 7-10 layers of pastry (remember if you're folding the filo over this is creating a 2nd layer).
Then place you pears evenly across the top of your pastry:
Place a sheet of filo over the pears, repeat the butter, filo layering for 7-10 sheets of filo, then place the other half of the nut mixture on top of the pastry, distributing it evenly, press down slightly.
Repeat the pastry, butter process for a further 10-12 layers of pastry. Butter your last layer of pastry quite liberally.
Then, with a sharp knife cut your baklava into diamond shapes (all the way through the baklava)... something like this (only probably better):
Pour some of the remaining butter over the top. These are quite large pieces of baklava, because I intend to serve them as a proper big dessert, you can make yours smaller if you like.
Bake your baklava for 55 minutes.
About 30 minutes into the baking of the baklava you should start making your syrup.
To do this you throw your water, sugar, vanilla pod (a split vanilla pod means you've sliced in down the middle, exposing the little seeds inside), 1 tbsp of lemon juice, 1 tbsp of rose water, the lemon zest and cardamom pod into a sauce pan and bring to the boil.
Once it's been boiling for about 1 minute, lower to a simmer (constant low bubbling) and allow the liquid to reduce by half (should take about 15 minutes) at this point the syrup should be more viscose. Mix through the remaining rose water and lemon juice. Remove the cardamom pod and vanilla bean (and leom zest if you don't think it'll look nice on top of the baklava).
Scrape the vanilla seeds out from the vanilla pod with a knife, this these through the syrup. Then set aside.
When you remove the baklava from the oven, pour the syrup evening and gently over the baklava immediately (while the pastry is still hot). Then allow your baklava to cool and set (this will take at least an hour).
You could serve it just as it is, in large sweet delicious chunks and encourage people to eat it with their hands while the syrup runs down their arms to their elbows in sweet deliciousness.
Or if you feel a bit fancy, serve it on a plate with a dollop of marscaponse, sprinkled with some edible rose petals.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did, please check out some other people's brilliant layered dessert ideas below...
Just so you know: it was lovely, not too sweet, and the pear made it something pretty special. I recommend it, and not just because I made it. I actually recommend it.
Until next time, over and out,
P.S (and instructions)
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