Sunday, September 5, 2010

baklava and beehives

                                                           berries+ bees = baklava
This is a photo of the holly berry trees in our front yard. This Spring when the trees were flowering the bees from our beehives went crazy for them. Now we get to enjoy two trees full of berries.... and of course the honey.
Some friends had us over for a lovely dinner the other night so I decided to make baklava. In the rural south there are no unsalted shelled pistachios to be found so I ended up making it using macadamia nuts instead. Even Bella and Fanny (the friends dogs) wanted to check out our baklava breath after dessert.
Here is the recipe:
1 pound filo frozen dough (defrosted)
mix together:
1 pound macadamia nuts chopped finely
1 Tablespoon orange blossom water (you can find this in middle eastern grocery stores)
honey (enough to just barely hold the nuts together

1/2 pound melted butter unsalted
Layer 1/2 of the pound of filo dough by drizzling butter on one sheet you have placed in the bottom of a baking pan. Place another sheet of filo dough, then drizzle butter, then another sheet of dough. Continue until 1/2 pound of filo dough has been used.
Spread the nut mixture over the layered filo and then layer the remaining filo on top, finishing with butter drizzled all over the top. Cut into finger food size pieces.
Bake at 350 till browned on the top and bottom.

For the sugar syrup:
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon orange blossom water
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
heat the above items in a microwave until the sugar dissolves. Let it cool. When the baklava comes out of the oven, cool it for 15 minutes and then pour the syrup over it

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