Turkish Citrus Baklava

I have been shocked at all the support I've been getting for this blog over the last month, and I’ve noticed that a lot of that support is coming from Turkey! Considering I've never been to Turkey and I don’t know anyone from Turkey I just want to say thank you so much for constantly coming back to my little blog. As a thank you, I decided to try and make a traditional Turkish dish…and what could be better than some beautiful citrus Baklava! I did some research and saw that more traditional Turkish Baklava uses lemon juice rather than honey in the syrup and focuses more on just nuts and sugar rather than adding lots of spices, of course, I wanted to try and add my own twist so I made it with lots of extra lemon and orange to give it a real citrus boost! I absolutely love this recipe and I hope you all enjoy it too!

I’ve made a little video on the process but I’ll leave the ingredients and method underneath! 




Ingredients
Makes 10-12 servings 

250g Filo Pastry
150g Pistachios 
50g Peanuts (it’s more traditional to use walnuts but I had peanuts leftover in the cupboard) 
100g Butter, melted
100g Granulated Sugar 

For the syrup

150g Caster Sugar 
80ml Water 
2 Oranges
1 Lemon 

Method 

  1. Preheat your oven to 170C/ 150 Fan/ Gas Mark 3 and lay your filo pastry out on a clean, dry surface. I used a silicone baking mat on my baking tray and it turned out to be the perfect size so you might need to cut your baklava sheets in half so you end up with a lot more sheets to use. Set the pastry aside covered by a tea towel so that it doesn’t dry out.
  2. In a food processor or pestle and mortar, crush the pistachios and peanuts together for a couple of minutes until you get a finely chopped texture, they don’t need to be exactly even or really really fine, we still want a decent crunch in between the pastry! Once you get the consistency you want, pour them into a small bowl, add in the sugar and mix together well. 
  3. Now back to the pastry. Lay one sheet out on top of your baking mat/tray and very gently brush over a light coating of butter, continue this with 7 other sheets (for the entire baklava you should have between 20-30 sheets of filo). 
  4. On your top buttered pastry sheet, spoon on a good helping of the sugar and nut mix, make sure it's evenly sprinkled all the way to the corners and you have a good mix of both the nut pieces and the sugar, then add another pastry sheet on top and butter that one, continue this until you use all your sugar and nut but remember to leave 8 sheets of filo for the top! 
  5. Once you’ve used all your filling, add another 8 layers of buttered pastry onto the top and slice your baklava into squares (I ended up with about 12 pieces). 
  6. Pop the baklava in the oven on the middle shelf to cook for between 20-25 mins until the pastry has puffed and gone slightly golden. 
  7. Now onto the syrup! Mix your caster sugar with the zest of 2 oranges and a lemon, I used different parts of the grater to get different textures of fruit zest throughout the syrup. 
  8. In a saucepan let 80 ml water come to a simmer on low heat before adding in the sugar and fruit zest. Let this simmer for about 5-7 mins then add in the juice of 2 oranges and a lemon, let this all come together for another 10 mins but keep stirring the syrup every couple of minutes to make sure it doesn’t get too thick and burn! Once it’s got noticeably thicker and the syrup has taken on colour from the orange, take it off the heat and let it cool for 15 mins. 
  9. Once your syrup has cooled enough for you to taste it, use a tablespoon and pour the syrup all over the baklava! Don’t be scrimping on that syrup, we want each slice to be drenched and in-between as well, I know we’re always told not to let pastry go soggy but there's nothing better than crunchy baklava soaked in sticky sweet syrup so make sure to use it all! 
  10. Let the baklava soak the syrup for at least 4 hours before serving…or have a cheeky slice now, it’s up to you! 


I absolutely love this recipe! I really enjoyed the Greek baklava recipe I made last year, it was perfect for Christmas time being full of so many cosy spices, but this one is so much lighter and more refreshing with that instant burst of sticky sweet citrus, it’s the perfect dessert to show up with to a garden party or BBQ and with so many servings off one recipe almost everybody could have more than one slice! Baklava is fast becoming one of my favourite things to make, up until last year I had no idea it was so easy and making this using my own ideas has just proven how versatile it is too. 
Although I used butter to brush the pastry with, if you use dairy-free butter then this whole baklava is vegan as well! I think the whole process probably takes about 45-50 mins but half that time is the actual cooking so all the prep and syrup making is only gonna take you 25 mins, you could make it with friends and family at your dinner party or make it ahead of time to serve up after they arrive, you have an endless amount of choices with this Turkish baklava and I hope you’ll give this fresh and citrusy recipe a go as we head into warmer days!

I just wanted to say thank you again to everybody in Turkey who inspired this recipe, even if you’ve only read just one post on this blog it means more than you’ll ever know and I’m forever grateful. 

H x 

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