Will wish you Merry Christmas with my favorite sweet. A sweet full of memories. Along with "koukoutakia" that I posted last year, "baklavas" is the sweet that my grandmother was making for us for the holidays.

The specificity of that baklava is that it's made with almonds instead of walnuts that are common. You see, "whoever has a lot of pepper use it also in cabbage." Arachova has many almond trees, so this sweet is customized accordingly. So, my grandma, having almond trees, she was keeping some of the almonds to use them in this festive dessert.

The "baklava" for me, has two parts. An easy and a difficult one. The easy part is that I have a handwritten recipe from grandma ... materials only, as she knew what to do and there was no need of "preparation" to be written.



The difficulty is that I never saw her preparing the sweet, and to tell the truth, I was not very keen to learn back then. Even my mother doesn't know who to make it because she was kept out of the kitchen because she was eating the filling. lol

So, since grandma died, we are trying (me, my sister and my mom) to reproduce that baklavas. For sure, will never be the same. But we want to recreate, as much as possible, "that" taste. To get these honeyed bottom layers, which I and my sister always enjoying. To make that baklava so that we become kids again, for a while.

This recipe is the closest we've ever done. You will have a wonderful sweet, we'll keep trying ... Merry Christmas to all of you .. enjoy !



Ingredients : 

  • 1 kg almonds (whole without skin / chopped)
  • 1 kg filo pastry
  • 5 vanillines
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinammon powder
  • zest of 1/2 orange
  • 350 gr olive oil (mild)
  • cloves for garnish
  • sugar for sprinkling
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 vanillines
  • 4 drops lemon juice
  • 1/2 orange peel

Preparation : 

  1. Prepare the syrup.
  2. In a small sauce pan put all the ingredients except lemon.
  3. Stir to dissolve the sugar and boil for 5 minutes.
  4. One minute before the end of boiling, add the lemon juice. Let aside to cool.
  5. In a bowl mix the almonds, cinnamon, sugar, vanilline, toast and orange zest. Put aside.
  6. Grease the baking pan and lay 4 sheets of filo pastry on the base.
  7. Spread 3 tbsp of the filling and cover with another filo pastry.
  8. Repeat until you use all the stuffing and you're left with 3 sheets of filo, which will put alltogether on top.
  9. With a sharp knife cut the layers in diamond shape. Make sure you cut all the way down.
  10. In the center of each diamond pin one clove.
  11. In a saucepan put the oil and boil till too hot.
  12. Drizzle the baklava with the oil.
  13. Bake in preheated oven at 170C for about 1 hour.
  14. Remove baklava from the oven and immediately pour the cold syrup over it.
  15. Sprinkle with sugar and let it absorb the syrup.