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? 

12 comments:

  1. Since you aren't sharing this recipe, I will be on your doorstep next holiday season to beg for a piece. It looks delicious.

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  2. My mother's potato soup. It's simple, it's easy. But I won't make it and so I won't share it. It's something she makes for me. And it's real Irish potato soup; not that crap with bacon in it.

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  3. You're such a tease.

    I made a good baklava once. I also made some really bad baklava (not the recipe's fault though... accidentally mixing up the cinnamon and the cayenne is totally on me). Oops.

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  4. Working with all those delicate tissues of phyllo requires extreme patience--(I don't possess that!) and look at the gorgeous result. Most of the baklava I've ever eaten has been cloyingly sticky-sweet and not enjoyable. But there are those rare ones that are moist, chewy with a combination of nuts, honeyed and somewhat floral, that are sublime. I imagine your husband's baklava is just that.

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  5. I've never been a huge baklava but that photo alone could convert me. Looks so good! My family recipe is fried pies. Peach, apple, custard...whatever. My mom was raised on a farm in east TN with 6 brothers and sisters and no electricity,

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  6. Oops the rest didn't post. I meant to say, it's amazing how many delicious recipes have been passed down from that period of time and before.

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  7. Ooh I love baklava! Hang on to that closely guarded recipe! You don't want to give everything away!! I'm so jealous! If you ever need to unload any of that baklava I will always take it off your hands. :)

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  8. I was so hoping for the recipe! I love baklava. I'll have to come to your house begging this holiday season. :)

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  9. I am so honored that I am one of the few that has gotten to try this baklava!! As you know, I'm not a fan of any Greek baklava I'd had in the past, but I was willing to try this out when I heard the "floral" ingredient (which I will not repeat).

    I have to say, it was excellent! My poor husband didn't even get to try a piece because I scarfed it all down before he could get to it.

    We have a family cake recipe that I won't give out either. All of my aunts and my mom rotate making it for special occasions, my sister won a baking contest with it when she was young, and we had it as our wedding cake a few years ago!

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  10. this baklava was amazing! thank you sooo much for sharing some with me. my compliments to the chef!

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  11. I love baklava.It's amazing how many delicious recipes have been passed down from that period of time and before.

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  12. If you ever decide to spread the joy and share - I'd like to know how to do it! Thanks!

    Debbie

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