Yields: 35+ pieces
Baqlawa + stuffing:
20 filo pastry sheets
2 1/2 cups raw pistachios, shelled
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp rosewater (or to taste – or any flavouring you like, eg. orange blossom)
4 tbs butter, melted
Rose water syrup:
2 cups white sugar
1 cup tap water
1/8 tsp citric acid
1 tsp rose water
Before you set off making baqlawa, make sure you have a lamington baking tray (or one very similar) that is a perfect fit for your pastry sheets. My tray’s length was equal to the filo sheet’s width, which meant my job was a lot easier!
Grease your baking tray and set aside.
Finely dice the pistachios and place in a bowl.
Add in the sugar, cinnamon, and rosewater.
Stir the filling until well combined.
Melt the butter in a microwave, and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
Making sure you leave all the filo sheets under a tea towel, take one sheet and place on a large working bench.
Brush lightly with butter. Take a second sheet, and place it on top.
Brush again with butter. Repeat for a third sheet.
Place the fourth sheet on top. This time, don’t brush with butter….
Instead, take a large handful of the stuffing and place it along the width of the filo pastry sheet.
Begin to roll the sheets. Don’t roll them too tightly. The width should be about 3-4cm.
When the sheet is completely rolled up, transfer it into the tray.
Brush generously with butter and repeat the process for the remaining sheets/filling.
When the tray is full, cut the rolls diagonally so that you have diamond shaped pieces.
Here’s a tip: if your tray is a little bigger, roll filo pastry fingers and place around the edges. To roll filo fingers, take two pastry sheets, brush with butter, place on top of each other.
Fold in half, brush with butter, and roll tightly. Cut into pieces (optional) and place around the edges. These fingers are also edible – just like the baqlawa.
Place the tray in the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
In the meantime, make the rosewater syrup by combining the sugar and water in a non-stick tefal pot over medium heat.
When the sugar melts and the mixture boils, turn the heat down to med-low, and stir slowly until the syrup becomes clear.
Add the citric acid, continually stirring.
Pour the syrup into a milk mug and leave aside (in the fridge if preferred) to cool completely.
When the baqlawa is still hot from the oven, pour the cool syrup on top (you may not need to use all the syrup). Brush the tops of the baqlawa to make sure it’s all evenly coated with the syrup. You may need to repeat the cutting process just to help you dish it up easily.
When the baqlawa is cool, dish up and serve for breakfast with an espresso, or for dessert… (or both!) either way..