January 11, 2012
new year, old recipe: baklava
Fair warning: I'm not sharing this recipe. The only way you'll get to taste the best baklava in the world is by becoming my friend and/or family member. A good place to start is by visiting this blog often. *cough* and commenting *cough cough*
My husband is half Lebanese, and his family has an arsenal of recipes that will make you weep with joy after just one bite. If I had to choose a favorite, it would have to be the baklava. Thing is, I always thought I hated baklava. It was often heavily laden with honey and filled with chunky bits of pistachios. I do love pistachios, but not purposed that way. The baklava I previously tasted was...heavy.
Then I met my husband and fell in love. Then he made his family's baklava and I fell head over heels. It is light and intricate and floral and amazing. You can actually taste the care and effort put into layer after layer of phyllo, and layer after layer of butter. I do not possess the patience needed for this. In fact, it's such an undertaking that my husband only makes it once a year - at the holidays - and I typically stay in the other room because my impatience would be visible in those incredible layers.
This version combines ground walnuts & pecans, more butter than I care to admit and some beautifully fragrant infused syrups. It's delicate, yet rich. It's crunchy, yet moist. It's sweet, yet subtle. It's perfect.
I wanted to share the recipe with you. I really did. But after some basic online searching I couldn't find another recipe quite like this one, and I like the idea of having a 'secret' family recipe to hand down to my kids someday. I like the idea of honoring my husband's culture by making this once a year and sharing it with those we love.
That, and I like to be difficult.
Do you have a treasured family recipe?