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Classic Greek Baklava

Easy, Moderate, Complex

Yields : 6 to 8 servings

*Walnuts can be replaced by any kind of nuts (or combination of nuts)
** Phyllo pastry is available in the freezer section of most grocers

Ingredients

  • 6 cups chopped walnuts* (1,5 l)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (5 ml)
  • 2 ¼ cups of sugar (560 ml)
  • 1 cup butter, melted (250 ml)
  • 1 (16 ounce) package of Phyllo pastry**
  • 2 cups water (500 ml)
  • 1 cup honey (250 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5 ml)
  • 4 cups Corinthian grapes (1 l)
  • 3 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (45 ml)
  • 1 cup Greek yoghurt (250 ml)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚ F (180˚ C). Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9 x 13 inch pan.
  2. Mix nuts with cinnamon, 1/4 cup of sugar (60 ml) and 1/4 cup (60 ml) of melted butter.  Set aside. Unroll Phyllo pastry. Cut the whole stack in half to fit the pan. Cover Phyllo with a dampened cloth to keep from drying out as you work. Lay two sheets of Phyllo in the pan and butter thoroughly using a brush. Repeat until you have 6 sheets layered. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cup (375 ml) of nut mixture on top. Layer with two sheets of dough, butter and add nuts to end up with 4 layers of nuts and dough.  The top layer should be about 6-8 sheets deep.
  3. Using a sharp knife cut diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. You may cut 4 long rows then make diagonal cuts.  Bake for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp.
  4. Make the sauce while the baklava is baking.  Boil water and remaining sugar until the sugar is dissolved.  Add honey and vanilla.  Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the baklava from the oven and immediately spoon the sauce over it.  Let cool.
  6. In the meantime, place the grapes on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and remaining 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of sugar. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes until the grapes start to burst.
  7.  Serve the baklavas with Greek yoghurt, the baked Corinthian grapes and a drizzle of honey and crushed walnuts