If you tweet and you follow me then did you figure out what I starting making Thursday evening? Yes, started! It was quite a laborious process. When I created this website, I had several things in mind that I definitely wanted to finally cross off my edible bucket list and share with all of you. This was one of the top 3 things I have been wanting to make. Thanks to you all for continuing to read. You have encouraged me to try the more difficult things or to carve out many, many hours to tackle my edible bucket list!
Last year, in the April Issue of Bon Appetit Michael Symon created a Greek inspired Easter Menu featuring all sorts of delicious looking food including bucket list worthy zucchini fritters, walnut and pistachio Baklava. I instantly added it to my bucket list and before I could make it, one of my friends actually made it and passed on a piece to me. Oh my! It was the best Baklava I had ever eaten! So why had it taken me so long to make? No clue…
Mistake #1. I purchased in shell pistachios. No biggie, right? Wrong! While pistachios pride themselves in being the lowest calorie nut and feature a built it portion pacer (due to their shell), buy the already shelled, can of pistachios when making this recipe! It took me close to two hours to shell the 3 cups required for this recipe. The pain in my fingers outweighed the time lost in this sitting. Four days later, my left thumb is still a little sore from the
The clock continued to tick away, so after I successfully shelled 3 cups of pistachios, toasted 3 cups of walnuts, and made the sugary syrup I called it a night. I put the above ingredients in containers and went to rest up before I faced step 2 the next morning.
The next day, after my bowl of
Wheaties cereal, I was ready to finish what I had begun. I ground the pistachios and walnuts then added sugar, cinnamon, and lemon zest before adding in diced dried apple.
I set up my mise en place and was ready for assembly. This step took around 20 minutes because of the delicacy of each layer of phyllo. The end result looked like this.
Then, I scored the baklava before putting in the oven.
45 Minutes later, I pulled it out of the oven.
Next, I poured the sugary syrup all over the warm baklava. This is where my second mistake occured. I didn’t pour all of the syrup on the baklava because so many times I have had overly drenched and soggy baklava. I didn’t want to spend all of this time to end up with soppy phyllo. Well, Michael Symon knows his stuff! When he said pour the syrup over the warm baklava, you should pour the syrup over the warm baklava. It would’ve been the perfect amount. I ended up with slightly dry baklava. I think it would’ve been perfect had I followed the directions.
After it cooled, I cut it all the way through. It cut really easily, I was surprised!
The Baklava was beautiful and I was proud that I had finally tackled something that appeared daunting off of my edible bucket list. The three lessons one should take away from this experience are to make the investment in canned pistachios when making baklava, to trust an iron chef, and to follow me on twitter to see sneak peaks on what I am making or eating before it ever makes an appearance on the blog!
Question of the Day: Have you ever had baklava? Made it? Not followed the instructions of an iron chef?