RICHMOND, Va. - Our Friday wouldn’t be complete without something great to eat! We had a sweet start to our day with Baklava, a rich, sweet desert pastry that is enjoyed by many. Our great friend of the show, Executive Chef Paul Kostandin is back by popular demand and walked us through the steps on creating this signature dessert he features of Natalie’s Taste of Lebanon. For more information visit www.nataliesrva.com.
Serves 8+ people Prep time: 2 hours
For The Pastry
2 cups chopped walnuts 1 cup clarified butter
3 tbsp sugar
1 package phyllo pastry
3/4 cup sugar 2/3 cup water
1 tsp rose water
1 tsp orange blossom water
To prepare the syrup.
1. Combine the ingredients in a small sauce pan.
2. Place the pan on the stove over medium heat and bring to a simmer, continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until syrupy.
3. Cool the syrup and reserve until later.
To prepare the pastry.
1. In a bowl mix the chopped walnuts and sugar.
2. In a 8 x 12 inch baking dish, brush the bottom with clarified butter and lay in a sheet of phyllo dough. Brush the sheet with butter and continue this process until you have a layer of 5 sheets.
3. Spread a thin layer of chopped walnuts over the phyllo dough, then top with another layer of phyllo dough and brush it with butter. Continue this process until all of your walnuts have been used.
4. To finish, top the final layer of walnuts with a layer of phyllo, brush it lightly with butter and add another layer, continue until you have a final layer of 5 sheets.
5. Place the baking dish in the refrigerator to chill.
6. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
7. Remove the baklava from the refrigerator and score the pastry in a diamond pattern.
8. Bake the baklava in the preheated oven until it is golden brown and crispy, approximately 30 minutes.
9. Remove the baking dish from the oven and allow it to cool slightly before carefully pouring the cooled syrup over the baklava.
10. Allow the baklava to soak overnight before serving. Keep the baklava covered at room temperature, it will keep for up to two weeks.