Einat Admony, the chef at Balaboosta, Taïm and Bar Bolonat, came up with a simplified version of baklava that was featured in “Food52 Genius Desserts: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Bake.” Instead of stacking individual layers of phyllo dough, Ms. Admony calls for rolling up the nut filling in the phyllo and slicing it into discs as you would cinnamon rolls, then baking and drizzling the slices with syrup. Like traditional baklava, they are shatteringly crisp, gooey and sweet in all the right places, but much less work. Her original recipe calls for raw peanuts, but roasted work just fine.
- Serves: 50 persons
- 2cups/405 grams granulated sugar
- ¼cup/60 milliliters honey
- 1(3-inch) strip orange zest, cut with a vegetable peeler
- 1cardamom pod
- ¼teaspoon rose water (optional)
- 6tablespoons/85 grams unsalted butter, melted
- ¼cup plus 2 tablespoons/90 milliliters neutral oil (such as grapeseed)
- 8ounces/225 grams raw or roasted peanuts
- 8ounces/225 grams raw pistachios
- 8ounces/225 grams raw walnuts
- ½cup/60 grams confectioners’ sugar
- 1teaspoon rose water (optional)
- ⅛teaspoon ground cardamom (preferably freshly ground from the seeds of about 2 pods)
- ½teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1(1-pound/454-gram) package frozen phyllo dough, thawed completely
Step 1Make the syrup: Combine sugar, 1 cup water, honey, orange zest and cardamom in a saucepan. Simmer over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves, about 10 minutes.
Step 2Remove from the heat and stir in the rose water, if using. Let cool, then pour the syrup into an airtight container and refrigerate until chilled, or up to 1 day in advance.
Step 3Make the baklava: Heat the oven to 350 degrees, with a rack in the center. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Stir together melted butter and oil in a bowl, and set near where you’ll be rolling the baklava.
Step 4In a food processor, pulse the peanuts, pistachios, walnuts, confectioners’ sugar, rose water, cardamom and cinnamon until the nuts are very finely chopped and the mixture is almost pasty.
Step 5Lay 3 sheets of phyllo dough stacked on top of one another on the counter or cutting board with one of the short sides closest to you. Cover the unused sheets of phyllo with a damp kitchen towel as you work, or they’ll dry out.
Step 6Very generously brush the top layer of phyllo dough with about 2 1/2 tablespoons of the butter mixture. Spread a fifth (about 1 1/4 cups/145 grams) of the nut mixture on the bottom third of the phyllo dough and pack it down. Roll the 3 phyllo sheets together away from you to form a compact log. Keep the seam side down as you work on more rolls. Repeat with the remaining phyllo dough and nut mixture to form 4 more rolls. Place the rolls on the baking sheet and freeze for 10 minutes to make them easier to slice.
Step 7Remove from the freezer and, using a serrated knife, cut the rolls evenly into about 1-inch slices. Arrange the slices, cut sides up and well spaced apart, on the same baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking.
Step 8Remove from the oven. While still warm, carefully transfer the baklava and arrange snugly, cut side up, in a large serving dish (a 9-by-13-will fit most, but not all the rolls). Discard the orange zest and cardamom pod from the chilled rose syrup and pour the syrup all over the baklava. Let baklava cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, refrigerate for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 1 month.