Saturday, January 29, 2011


I was first introduced to baklava when I was very little. In my hometown, Ilirska Bistrica, Slovenia, we had just one pastry shop back then. This shop was owned by a Macedonian man. He came to my hometown after the second world war ended and my home town became his hometown, too. He was a very respected hardworking man. In his shop you could buy the best ice-cream ever! My favorite flavor was lemon. And in the winter he would make the winter ice-cream (marshmallow cream) topped with thin coating of chocolate swirled into an ice-cream cone. Unforgettable! There was a wide variety of pastries in his shop and among them baklava. Though the best piece of baklava I ever ate was in Istanbul, Turkey! As for the sweets made with both kinds of fillo dough, in my book, Syria wins the first place! And here it is, my nostalgic baklava!

My Nostalgic Baklava on FoodistaMy Nostalgic Baklava

(For the printable version click here)

Ingredients for dough:
½ pack of shredded fillo dough, thawed
½ cup olive oil (or same amount of melted unsalted butter)

Ingredients for filling:
2 cups walnuts, chopped
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp simple sugar syrup
1 tsp grounded cinnamon

For soaking:
1 ½ cup simple sugar syrup

Ingredients for simple sugar syrup:
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp orange blossom water

Let us start with the simple sugar syrup because it has to be completely cooled down before using.

Directions for simple sugar syrup:
Into a pot put water and sugar. Stir to combine and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once it starts boiling, add lemon juice. Let the sugar water boil for 7 - 10 minutes.  Remove from heat, stir in orange blossom water, and set aside to cool down.

Directions for dough:
Mix the shredded fillo dough with olive oil. Make sure all the dough is covered with oil. Let it rest for 5 minutes so the dough absorbs the oil.

Directions for filling:
In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients and set aside.

Press ½ of the dough into a 9 inch round baking pan, arrange walnuts over the dough. Make sure to leave about ½ of an inch of a birder without filling. Arrange the other half of the dough over the filling and press down firmly. (I use a glass with flat bottom for help.) Put a plastic wrap over the top, then a flat plate, and something heavy on the top: a brick wrapped in aluminum foil or just a pot filled with water. Let the baklava stand pressed for 30 minutes.

Bake in 350 preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the top becomes golden brown.

Immediately after you pull baklava from the oven, pour over cold simple sugar syrup. Let is soak for 5 minutes in a hot oven (just put it back to the oven, but make sure the oven is turned off).

Take the baking pan out of the oven, loosen the edge, and flip the baklava onto a serving plate. Cut the baklava into eight slices. My pizza cutter always does a wonderful job!


  1. This is amazing sweet, I tried it only few times in Greece and I loved it so much.. :) nice recipe Mateja :)

  2. This looks amazing Mateja..I never had with shredded phillo dough! But otherwise I love baklava, one of my favorite childhood desserts!

  3. This looks lovely! I have never seen the shredded phyllo dough before! It looks so pretty! I have had baklava when I was in good. Currently I can get amazing baklava from a Lebanese pita shop just blocks away from my house!! This makes me with they were open at 10:00 at night!! YUM!

  4. I only recently discovered baklava, but I'm in love with it! I'm so happy to have another recipe to try. Thanks!

  5. Wow, you've just made me crave baklava for breakfast! I've never had it with shredded pretty. I grew up with my mom making baklava...and I think I need to make a batch soon!!!

  6. I adore baklava but have never made it at home for myself. I think maybe I could do it with the shredded phyllo. I've never seen it done that way but it seems like something I could definitely do. It looks SO good!!

  7. Mateja - here's a little something for you. Stop by when you have time. No obligation to repost!

  8. This looks absolutely AMAZING! I drool over baklava :-)

  9. I love these kind of pastries, soaked in sticky sugar syrup with crispy pastry. I've seen that shredded filo dough in the freezer section and always wondered what it was for, now I know, thanks!!

  10. I love baklava. I like it with honey syrup instead of sugar, it's even stickier :).

  11. This looks really good!! Can't wait to try this!

  12. Yum! I can almost taste the pictures!

  13. Wow the picture just make me drool! This looks so sweet and delightful :)

  14. You conjure up all those great flavors of baklava! mmmm... delish!

  15. How cool! I love that you use shredded phyllo, rather than the sheets!

  16. mmmmmmmm Baklava!! We Macedonians do make a good baklava ;-)! I can't wait to make one real soon and share it with you... hope you'll like it.

  17. Woooow your baklava looks perfect! So juicy! It looks similar to what I once had in Turkey! Too bad I've never seen shredded fillo dough here in Latvia :(

  18. Yum Yum and Yum. This rocks!

  19. Great looking baklava....Love the top...looks like designer kind of baklava....I would love to try it, bravo:)
    Super blog....

  20. I have a thing for baklava :) and this one looks sooo delicious :) I really want to try making one any time soon and your recipe comes in handy :) Yes I remember from childhood warm icecream... so yucky and delicious at the same time ;) Thank you for warm words over Chef's Dennis blog and thank you for stopping by at mine :)

  21. I love baklava, but have never made it. I have to try the shredded phyllo dough. I can't wait to make it. Yours look so good!

  22. I have to hunt high and low to find this here, maybe I should make it too. The ice cream sounds delicious as well, happy memories.