Crunchy walnut and pistachio baklava
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Walnut and Pistachio Crunchy Baklava

Crunchy walnut and pistachio baklava – a dessert that is so irresistible. Make yourself a cup of coffee (or tea), sit back and enjoy this mouth watering treat.

Making this delicious crunchy baklava is time consuming, but it is definitely worth it in the end. It is a multi-step process and tastes best when allowed to sit for 8 – 12 hours before eating (I make it and leave it overnight, so the syrup gets evenly absorbed). Waiting to eat it is the most difficult part of the recipe.

Crunchy walnut and pistachio baklava
Pistachio baklava

My crunchy walnut and pistachio baklava recipe is for two types of baklava that are made at the same time. Half the baklava is pistachio and the other half is walnut. One of my kids likes walnuts and the other pistachio, so I had to come up with something to keep them both happy. You can combine the two nuts and spread them over the whole pastry or do what I do and enjoy two separate types of baklava at the same time. The walnut bit has a little bit of cocoa, so it has a slight hint of a chocolatey taste.

The baklava is sticky because of the honey syrup that is poured on it. The baklava soaks the syrup and makes it sticky and delicious. The syrup needs to be made and cooled to room temperature before the baklava is assembled and baked, so make the syrup first before you assemble to phyllo pastry.

Making the honey syrup

To make the syrup, bring the sugar and water to a boil in a pan over medium heat. Once the sugar has melted, add the cardamom and cloves and cook for about 20 mins. Add the honey and salt and cook for a further 5 mins. The whole kitchen will smell extremely sweet and fragrant.

Set the pan aside and let the syrup cool completely. I try and make the syrup the night before when I get the phyllo out of the freezer to thaw.

Baklava_syrup
Honey syrup
Making the nut mixture

I make two separate nut mixes. In a food processor, combine the walnuts, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom powder and cocoa powder. Pulse the processor so that the nuts get broken, but don’t turn into dust. Do the same with the pistachio – only skip the cocoa powder this time. Put into bowls and set aside.

Assembling the crunchy baklava

Thaw the phyllo pastry as per the package directions. Allow enough time to thaw before you start making the baklava. I thaw it overnight in the fridge and don’t remove it from it’s plastic package until I am ready to use it.

Once the pastry is completely thawed, coat a 9×11 in baking dish (not tray) with butter. Line one sheet of the phyllo pastry in the dish and using a brush, liberally coat with butter. Repeat this until half the phyllo pastry is in the dish – remember to brush each layer of phyllo with butter.

Once half the pastry is in the pan, pour the nut mix on top of the pastry. I pour the pistachio mix on one half of the pastry and the walnut mix on the other half of the pastry.

Baklava nuts
Baklava with nut mixture

Continue to line the remaining pastry on top of the nuts once sheet at a time. Butter each layer as you go. Once you are done layering all the pastry, butter the last sheet as well. Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry into squares or rectangles. It is important to cut the pastry before you bake it. If you cut the pastry after it’s baked, it flakes and crumbles and you will not get any proper shapes.

Baklava unbakes
Cut baklava prior to cooking
Baking and pouring the syrup

Once cut, bake the pastry at 350 degrees F for 30-35 mins. You want to make sure that the pastry looks nice and brown before you remove it from the oven.

As soon as you remove it from the oven, pour the cooled syrup on the baked baklava. You will hear a sizzle and that’s a good thing. Sizzle means the baklava is starting to soak the syrup right away.

Crunchy walnut and pistachio baklava
Baked crunchy baklava with syrup

Now the waiting game begins. This is the toughest part. You have spent time baking, the whole house smells like delicious walnut and pistachio baklava, but you can’t eat it just yet. You need to let it cool down and absorb the syrup for at least 8 hrs. I generally let it sit and rest overnight.

Crunchy walnut and pistachio baklava
Crunchy baklava

Once the delicious crunchy baklava has soaked up all the syrup, garnish it with cinnamon powder, more nuts, or even chocolate sprinkles. Make a cup of coffee (or tea) and enjoy the crunchy sticky deliciousness.

It can be stored in an air tight container for up to 3 days.

Walnut and Pistachio Crunchy Baklava

Recipe by DeeptiCuisine: Dessert, MediterraneanDifficulty: Moderate
Servings

24

pieces
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

25

minutes
Baking time

30-35

minutes
Total time

1

hour 

10

minutes


Makes two types of Baklava – pistachio and walnut. The nuts are placed on each half of the phyllo pastry.

Ingredients

  • For the Syrup
  • 1 cup sugar

  • 3/4 cup water

  • 3 whole cardamom pods (optional)

  • 3 whole cloves (optional)

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup honey

  • For the Baklava and filling
  • 1 package phyllo pastry

  • 1 cup unsalted butter

  • 2 cups walnuts

  • 2 cups pistachio 

  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) sugar

  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

  • 1 teaspoon ground green cardamom seeds

  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (optional)

  • Extra nuts and cinnamon for garnish (optional)

Directions

  • Syrup
  • In a medium sized saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil over medium heat.
  • Once the the sugar water starts to boil, add the cloves and the cardamom.
  • Cook for about 20 mins.
  • Add the honey and salt and let it cook for a further 5 mins.
  • Remove from the heat and let the syrup cool down completely.
  • The nut mixture
  • Place the walnuts, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon powder (and 1 tablespoon cocoa powder if using) into a food processor.
  • Pulse the processor so that the nuts break down and the spices mix with the nuts. The nuts should not be too fine.
  • Set aside in a bowl.
  • Place the pistachios, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon powder into a food processor.
  • Pulse the processor so that the nuts break down and the spices mix with the nuts. The nuts should not be too fine.
  • Set aside in a bowl.
  • Assemble the baklava
  • Preheat the over to 350 degrees F.
  • Grease a 9×11 inch baking dish with butter.
  • Melt the butter so it can be easily spread on the sheets with a brush.
  • Line one piece of phyllo pastry in the dish and brush liberally with melted butter. Depending on the size of pastry, you can either fold it in half so it fits the pan, or cut it to size.
  • Line half the package of phyllo pastry in the dish, making sure to butter each sheet.
  • Once half the pastry has been line in the dish, pour the nut mixture over it – half the dish with the pecan mix and the half with the pistachio mix.
  • Repeat steps 3 and 4 until all the pasty is in the dish.
  • Cut the pastry into squares. It is important to cut the pastry before you bake it. If you wait to cut the pastry after you bake it, it flakes and crumbles and doesn’t cut very well.
  • Bake for 30-35 mins. Each oven is different, so baking time depends on your oven. After about 25 mins (without opening the oven), keep an eye on the oven. Once the pastry seems to have browned, remove it from the oven.
  • As soon as you remove the baklava from the oven and it still hot, pour the completely cooled syrup on to the baklava. You will hear a sizzle.
  • Let the baklava cool and set for up to 8 hours. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon, crushed nuts or chocolate sprinkles. Enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee.

Notes

  • – If you buy frozen phyllo pastry, please thaw it as per the package directions before you start assembling.
    – Keep your phyllo pastry covered with a damp tea towel so that it doesn’t dry up as you use it.
    – Make sure the baklava is completely cold before you serve it.

– Check out other Dessert recipes here.

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