Wednesday,26 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1224, (4 - 10 December 2014)
Wednesday,26 September, 2018
Issue 1224, (4 - 10 December 2014)

Ahram Weekly


Serves 8-10


500 gm filo pastry sheets (prepackaged)

125 ml corn oil

1 tbsp butter


125 gm hazelnuts (unsalted)

125 gm dried raisins or sultanas 

1 tsp brown sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt


1 cup castor sugar

1 cup tap water

Juice of half a lemon

1 tsp vanilla essence



In a large cooking pan, combine sugar and water.  Bring to a boil then lower heat. Add lemon juice and simmer over medium heat, until syrup thickens and is slightly reduced. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cover and allow syrup to cool off completely. Use only when brought to room temperature. Grease a round or a rectangular baking pan with the same size of filo sheets, or if smaller, tailor sheets to fit your choice of size.   To prepare filling:  Heat a small roasting pan on high; empty. Add hazelnuts and stir to roast. Lower heat to medium and keep stirring occasionally, for a few moments. When brown skin partly loosens and hazelnuts are slightly browned, remove from heat and allow to cool in pan. In a medium bowl, rinse raisins under running tap water; while stirring. Strain, then soak in clean, slightly warm water, for almost half an hour; to impregnate.  Meanwhile, rub off brown skin on hazelnuts. Coarsely crush them in an electrical grinder. Rinse raisins after being soaked. Drain by pressing them gently, in batches, in the palm of your hand; releasing excessive waters. While still moist; combine them with crushed hazelnuts, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Stir to mix, then keep aside; covered. Divide filo sheets into two halves. Layer one half of the quantity; sheet by sheet. Spread filling evenly on top. Layer remaining sheets as per previous quantity. Using a sharp tipped knife, cut through filo sheets; from one end to another; crossing the diameter of pan and almost touching base. Make a similar cut, intersecting with previous one exactly at the centre of pan, forming a cross, dividing sheets into quarters. Slightly twist pan and repeat cutting pattern within each quarter, forming segments of smaller triangles in between. Combine oil and butter in a small saucepan. Heat until bubbly. Distribute evenly on top of prepared baklava. Bake in a preheated oven at 170 degrees, until top is slightly golden, (approximately; 15-20 minutes). Remove from oven and immediately pour cooled syrup on top; slightly tilting pan allowing it to evenly reach all parts of baklava.  Serve hot or warm; plain or with dairy cream.

N.B.:  Omit butter and replace with oil, if fasting.

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