A refreshingly light form of custard tart that never fails! Our recipe was discovered whilst living in Botswana
for the filo pastry:
300g all-purpose flour
5 tbsps olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
130–150g lukewarm water
for dusting the filo when rolling: (more may be needed, dependant on the humidity and temperature)
30g all-purpose flour
for the syrup:
300 g sugar
100 ml Greek honey
1 cinnamon stick
2 strips of orange zest
for the filling:
150 g walnuts
150 g almonds
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
200 g butter
The Filo pastry
1. Place the flour in a mixing bowl; make a well in the centre. Drizzle in olive oil and add salt, white wine vinegar and warm water. Mix until dough just comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Transfer dough ball to a lightly floured work surface.
2. Knead until dough is smooth, supple and elastic, about 5 more minutes. The dough will become less sticky during the kneading so avoid adding flour if you can. Wrap dough ball in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature, 1 to 2 hours.
3. Divide dough into 20 gram portions using a kitchen scale; roll each portion into a ball. Place on plate and cover with plastic wrap to prevent dough balls from drying out while you begin to roll them out.
4. Mix the dusting cornflour and flour together in a bowl. Dust a work surface and the first dough ball with the cornflour mixture.
5. Flatten out the dough ball and roll out into a circle, about 12 cm in diameter. Dust again with cornflour mixture. Set circle to one side.
6. Roll out 4 more dough balls to about the same diameter and stack them on the first one, dusting each layer with more of the cornflour mixture to keep them from sticking together.
7. When you have 5 circles, roll out the stack to a larger circle about double in size, turning as you go to maintain a round shape.
8. Separate each layer and lay out the circles. Re-apply more cornflour mixture where needed and restack them. Roll again until the 5-layer stack is paper thin, about 25 to 30cm in diameter.
9. Place on a sheet of baking paper; top with another piece of baking paper. Gently roll up the dough; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate.
10. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough in batches of 5.
11. The filo can be kept in the fridge for several days until needed.
12. Place all the syrup ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Let it bubble away, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by a third. Leave to cool. (The syrup must be cool when it is poured over the pastry otherwise the pastry will go soggy.)
13. If you have un-blanched almonds: put the almonds in a bowl and pour over boiling water to loosen the skins. When you can get your fingers in the water, pop the almonds from their skins.
14. Place a baking sheet in the oven and heat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
15. Coarsely chop the nuts, tip into a bowl and stir in the cinnamon and cloves.
16. Melt the butter and grease a 40x25cm shallow tin.
17. Remove the filo from the fridge and unroll, covering with a damp tea towel to prevent it cracking.
18. Lay a sheet of filo in the baking tin and brush with melted butter, repeat with another 3 layers.
19. Scatter the half the nut mixture over the buttered filo; repeat with another 4 layers of filo and melted butter and scatter over the rest of the nuts.
20. Top off with another 4 layers of filo and melted butter, generously paint the top with melted butter.
21. Cut into diamonds with a sharp knife, ensuring the knife goes right through.
22. Put the baklava tin on the hot baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Reduce the temperature to170ºC/325ºF/gas 3 if the top is browning too much.
23. Remove the baklava from the oven and spoon over half of the cooled syrup. Leave for 5 minutes then spoon over the rest of the syrup.
24. Allow the baklava to cool then remove individual pieces using a pallet knife.
Added by: ColinWatts
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