Pistachio Baklava Recipe

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Made with multiple layers of delicately crispy and flaky phyllo sheets, this Pistachio Baklava Recipe is SO delicious. It’s rich, it’s buttery, it’s sweet, and it’s filled with 3 layers of ground pistachio. Finished with my aromatic Lebanese Simple Syrup, you will be tempted to eat this entire homemade baklava in one sitting.

This recipe is a labour of love but it is worth every minute! It might seem difficult but it’s actually relatively straightforward but it just takes a lot of time as you have to brush each sheet of phyllo as you layer them. However, at the end of it, this pistachio baklava is 100% worth it!

Making it from scratch, everyone is always super impressed with the end result and they always eat every last piece! Keep on reading if you want to learn how to make baklava from scratch with some step by step photos to guide you through it!

If you’re making simple syrup from scratch for this pistachio baklava, then you’re likely to have some left over. So if you’d like to try more Lebanese dessert recipes that use simple syrup, here are a few that my family loves to make: Lebanese Shaabiyat Dessert, Lebanese Nights DessertAtayef and my Walnut Baklava recipe.

What is Baklava?

Baklava is a delicious layered pastry dessert that is traditionally made from phyllo pastry sheets that are filled with chopped nuts, and sweetened with syrup or honey. However, due to the long history of baklava, “traditional” may slightly differ with regional differences. This version is made with pistachio but I have a walnut version too if you’d like to give that a try!

Origin of Baklava

The origin of baklava is hard to pinpoint as it pre-dates the Ottoman-era! There are roots to (and not limited to) Turkey, Greece, Iran, Lebanon, Armenia with baklava and is thought to have gone back as far as the 2nd century BC, where baklava resembles an Ancient Roman placenta cake.

Every region has added their own unique twist to it over time so it’s really hard to say where it has come from. For example, there are many Meditteranean countries that have their own versions of baklava! For this Lebanese version, the twist is the use of Lebanese Simple Syrup (Ater). It is a sweet sugar syrup that is infused with rose and orange blossom water, lending the baklava a fragrant floral note.

Close up of pistachio baklava in the pan.

Why You’ll Love This Baklava Recipe

  • It’s so beautiful. This is definitely one of those desserts that are almost too pretty to eat. I say almost too pretty because the kids will inhale all of this in a flash!
  • It’s so tasty. It’s better than store-bought! There’s rarely any leftovers when I bring this out and everyone always prefers it to the store-bought version!
  • It’s made with simple ingredients. Most of these ingredients can be easily be found at your grocery store and might already be in your kitchen.

What You’ll Need

  • Phyllo sheet — you can find this in the frozen pastry section at your local grocery store
  • Ghee-store bought or home made. You can try my Homemade Ghee.
  • Simple Syrup — you can make your own simple sugar syrup by following this post.
  • Pistachios-raw not toasted
  • Powdered sugar– or normal sugar
Ingredients needed to make pistachio baklava.

How to Make Pistachio Baklava Recipe At Home

  • Make the syrup: Prepare the simple syrup first and let it cool.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Make the pistachio filling: Process the pistachios and powdered sugar in a processor. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. You will split the amount into 3 portions.
Set of two photos showing how to make the ground pistachio filling in a food processor.
  • Prepare the phyllo sheets: Unfold the phyllo sheets and smooth out to flatten. Cover with a damp towel, not wet, to prevent it from drying.
  • Layer the baklava: see down below for how to layer the pistachio baklava.
How to layer pistachio baklava.
  • Cut the baklava: Using a sharp knife with a pointed tip, cut the baklava into diamond shapes. See below for the step-by-step photo reference.
How to cut pistachio baklava in a pan.
  • Bake the pistachio baklava: Place the tray on the middle rack of your oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. At this point the edges and baklava should be lightly brown in color and you can turn on the top broiler for just 1-2 minutes watching it “very closely” until you get the golden color you prefer. Do not take your eyes off of it or else they will burn super fast.
Before and after baking pistachio baklava in a pan.
  • Add the syrup: Remove from the oven and drizzle 1-1¼ cup of simple syrup evenly all over the baklava. Use more or less to preference. I like using a squeezable bottle to spread the syrup evenly on the baklava.

Here’s a summary of how to layer your baklava. For detailed instructions, please see the recipe card.

  • Brush the pan with ghee
  • Place one sheet of phyllo and brush with ghee. Repeat 9 more times to get a total of 10 sheets, brushing in between
  • Press down well, making sure there aren’t any air bubbles
  • Add 1⅓ cup ground pistachio
  • Top with 5 brushed phyllo sheets
  • Press down well, making sure it’s even and there are no air bubbles
  • Add another 1⅓ cup ground pistachio
  • Top with another 5 brushed phyllo sheets
  • Press down well to compress
  • Add the final 1⅓ cup ground pistachio
  • Place the final 10 brushed phyllo sheets on top
  • Press down well and brush the top with ghee
Servings of pistachio baklava being turned around from the pan.

Tips and Notes

  • Be sure to thaw your phyllo sheets ahead of time. They’re sold frozen from the store so you’ll have to thaw them overnight in the fridge or quickly on the counter at room temperature. If there’s still kind of frozen and damp, the moisture will make the phyllo hard to work with.
  • If your phyllo pastry rips, it’s ok, don’t fret. After it’s been baked, no one will notice!
  • Cover the phyllo sheets with a damp towel as you work your way through them to prevent them from drying out. If you forget to do this, your sheets might crack as you lift them to transfer to the pan.
  • Be sure to start your syrup early so it has time to cool. If the syrup is hot, you’ll find that you baklava does not come out crunchy.
  • Be sure not to forget to cut the baklava before you bake it! It’ll be much harder to slice clean pieces after it’s been baked as the phyllo sheets are so flaky and won’t cut evenly.
  • The baklava will shrink a bit as it bakes, that’s totally normal.
  • You may add some cinnamon or nut meg to the nuts if you like, but I prefer not to.
Baked pistachio baklava recipe with crushed pistachios on top.

FAQs

Can I use puff pastry instead of phyllo sheets?

Despite puff pastry dough being flakey in texture, the two cannot be swapped for this baklava. Puff pastry puffs up while it bakes so it isn’t ideal in a baklava. You want the beautiful flaky layers from the phyllo sheets.

Does baklava have a lot of sugar? Why is baklava high in calories?

Unfortunately, baklava has a lot of sugar in it as you coat the baklava with a syrup after baking, which leads to it being high in calories. The pistachio layers are also made with powdered sugar. However, as long as you enjoy baklava in moderation, it’s ok to indulge every so often! Just maybe don’t eat the whole tray on your own 😉

Do I have to use simple syrup?

You can use honey in place of the homemade simple syrup. Some people like their baklava with honey but I prefer using simple syrup that’s been infused with orange blossoms water. It make a huge difference in flavor as the orange blossom really compliments the pistachios.

Can I use butter instead of ghee?

In a way, you can use butter as you can make ghee with butter. You do so by simmering butter for 20-30 minutes and then straining it through a cheesecloth. Melted butter on its own doesn’t provide the same finish to baklava that ghee does so I prefer to use ghee. Ghee also tastes much richer and flavorful compared to melted butter.

Can I make baklava ahead of time? How do I store it?

You can definitely make this ahead of time! You can make baklava couple days before you need it and allow it to cool before storing in an airtight container. It’s actually even tastier if you make it ahead of time as it gives the baklava time to absorb the simple syrup that is poured on top. If you leave it at room temperature, it stays crispy. You can keep the baklava in the fridge as well, but it may be a little harder than usual.

How do I freeze baklava?

You can freeze baklava by wrapping it up tightly and before freezing it for up to 3 months. Depending on how much baklava you have to freeze, I suggest freezing it in small portions (between 10 to 15 pieces is ideal for me) so you can pull out however much you’d like to eat. This prevents you from having to refreeze the baklava. When ready to eat, just allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight. Note that it will however lose it’s crunch.

More Lebanese Recipes To Try

I hope you enjoy all the recipes I share with you, including this delicious Pistachio Baklava recipe. I hope you try it, enjoy it, rate it and share it with your friends and family!

If you try this recipe and like it, please use my hashtag to share it with me on INSTAGRAM for a chance to be featured in my story! Also, follow me at Cookin’ With Mima on FACEBOOK |INSTAGRAM |PINTEREST for all of my latest social posts and recipes.

Close up of a pistachio baklava in a baking pan.

Pistachio Baklava Recipe

Made with multiple layers of delicately crispy and flaky phyllo sheets, this Pistachio Baklava is SO delicious. It’s rich, it’s buttery, it’s sweet, and it’s filled with 3 layers of ground pistachio. Finished with my aromatic Lebanese simple syrup, you will be tempted to eat this entire homemade baklava in one sitting.

Prep Time 30 mins

Cook Time 40 mins

Total Time 1 hr 10 mins

Equipment

  • 9 x 14″ non stick pan.

  • cooking brush

Instructions

  • Prepare the simple syrup first and let it cool.

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.

  • Process the pistachios and powdered sugar in a processor. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. You will split the amount into 3 portions.

  • Unfold the phyllo sheets and smooth out to flatten. Cover with a damp towel, not wet, to prevent it from drying.

  • Brush the base of a 9 x 14 inch pan with some ghee. Place one sheet of phyllo and brush again with ghee. Repeat 9 more times to get a total of 10 sheets, brushing in between each sheet. Add in 1⅓ of the ground pistachio and spread evenly.

  • Add in one sheet over the nuts and brush by dabbing only because it will move if you brush it normally. Add 4 more sheets, brushing in between each sheet. Before brushing the top of the 5th sheet, press down the surface very well with your palm to compress the nuts. Then brush with ghee.

  • Add another 1⅓ of crushed pistachio and top with 5 more sheets the same way you did the first. One more layer ground pistachios and this time for the final layer, top with 10 sheets of phyllo instead of 5, just like we did in the bottom layer. Before brushing the top with ghee for the last time, press down the surface really well again with your palm to compress the layers.

  • Using a sharp knife with a pointed tip, cut the baklava into diamond shapes. Refer to my blog photos for step-by-step photo reference.

  • Place the tray on the middle rack of your oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. At this point the edges and baklava should be lightly brown in color and you can turn on the top broiler for just 1-2 minutes watching it “very closely” until you get the golden color you prefer. Do not take your eyes off of it or else they will burn super fast.

  • Remove from the oven and drizzle 1-1¼ cup of simple syrup evenly all over the baklava. Use more or less to preference. I like using a squeezable bottle to spread the syrup evenly on the baklava.

Notes

  • Be sure to thaw your phyllo sheets ahead of time. They’re sold frozen from the store so you’ll have to thaw them overnight in the fridge or quickly on the counter at room temperature. If there’s still kind of frozen and damp, the moisture will make the phyllo hard to work with.
  • If your phyllo pastry rips, it’s ok, don’t fret. After it’s been baked, no one will notice!
  • Cover the phyllo sheets with a damp towel as you work your way through them to prevent them from drying out. If you forget to do this, your sheets might crack as you lift them to transfer to the pan.
  • Be sure to start your syrup early so it has time to cool. If the syrup is hot, you’ll find that it’s difficult for the baklava to absorb it.
  • Be sure not to forget to cut the baklava before you bake it! It’ll be much harder to slice clean pieces after it’s been baked as the phyllo sheets are so flaky and won’t cut evenly.
  • The baklava will shrink a bit as it bakes, that’s totally normal.
  • You may add some cinnamon or nut meg to the nuts if you like, but I prefer not to.

Nutrition

Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 11mg | Potassium: 197mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg



This article was originally published by cookinwithmima.com. Read the original article here.

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