One of the desserts that my sweet-toothed boyfriend missed the most since having to switch to a Gluten Free Diet was Baklava. For those of you not familiar with this delightful Turkish/Greek dish, it is a crispy, baked filo-pastry dessert with crushed nut mix filling in-between layers that is doused in golden syrup. Even for non-sweet-toothed individuals like myself, it is a tasty dessert that isn’t too rich. The hard part about making this Gluten Free Dessert is the fact that ready-made GF pastry sheets are uncommon, but after some searching we found 1 brand of GF ready-made pastry which is easily accessible from the local Coles grocery chains in Australia. I’ve used this brand of pastry sheets for other recipes like Curry Puffs and although they’re denser than your traditional read-made pastry, it means you can finally make pastry recipes without having to actually make pastry from scratch! For many of my GF friends, they gave up pastries long ago, but now they don’t have to! Anyway, have a read through my recipe below for this delicious Gluten Free Baklava Recipe. It should be enough dessert to feed about 12 people and takes about 90 mins to prepare. Special thanks to my boyfriend/blog co-editor for this post, JJ who helped me make this dessert last night.
- The Pastry Pantry 100% Gluten & Wheat Free Rolled Pastry Sheets (Rough Puff Pastry) – See image of box below to identify in the supermarket
- 1 Cup of Pistachio Nuts Chopped
- 1 Cut of Almond Nuts Chopped
- 1 Tspn Cinnamon for Nut Mix
- 1/4 Cup of Caster Sugar for Nut Mix
- 1/4 Cup of Brown Sugar for Nut Mix
- 1 Cup Caster Sugar for Syrup
- 1 Cup Brown Sugar for Syrup
- 1/2 Cup Honey for Syrup
- 1/2 Cup Maple Syrup for Syrup
- 1-2 Lemons Juiced for Syrup (add according to taste)
- 1 Cup Olive Oil for brushing on layers
You Will Need:
- Rolling Pin
- Pastry Brush
- Baking Paper
- Rectangular 6 Cup Size Baking Dish (28 x 18 x 5 cm / 11 x 7 x 2 inches)
- Leave the pastry out of the fridge to defrost for 2-3 hours.
- Make the syrup first so it has time to cool while the Baklava is being made. Pour honey, maple syrup, and 1/2 cup of water into a pan on medium heat. Once boiling, add 1 cup of caster sugar, 1 cup of brown sugar and the juice of 1-2 lemons depending on taste, stir until dissolved. Let the syrup thicken, remove from heat and leave to cool for 40 mins. After cooling the syrup should be golden brown.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsuis or 360 degrees Fahrenheit. If your oven is fan forced, you can have the temperature lower at 160 degrees Celsuis or 320 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Put both almond and pistachio chopped nuts in a medium bowl, and mix with 1/4 cup of caster sugar, 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 1 tspn of cinnamon. Add 2-3 drops of water for slight moisture. Stir until evenly mixed.
- The instant pastry pack should contain 3 sheets. Lay down some baking paper for rolling out the pastry sheets. Cut each sheet into quarters and roll out 1 quarter at a time to become paper-thin or as thin as you can get it until you start to see little tears develop if you pick it up. The pastry sheets should look almost a little see-through once rolled out. The sheets should cover roughly the base of the baking dish. Pre-grease the dish and place 4 sheets in the dish for the base of the baklava brushing a complete coat of oil on each layer when placing in the dish.
- After creating the base, you can sprinkle on top the nut mix. You should use approximately half of your nut mix (and no more) to completely cover the base of your baklava.
- Continue placing 1 layer of pastry down at a time and with each layer, brush an even coat of oil on top. Sprinkle a very light layer of nut mix on each layer that is just enough to cover the sheet of pastry before proceeding to place another layer down. Depending on the amount of nut mix left, leave 2-3 sheets of pastry to create a crust. The last layers need not have any nut mix between them, but just continue to coat each layer in oil, including the final surface layer.
- Once all the sheets and nut mix are finished, you can proceed to cut your uncooked Baklava into diamond shapes with a sharp knife. Place the dish in the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove the dish from the oven and leave to cool for 5 mins. Pour the cooled syrup evenly over the Baklava until completely covered. There should only be a thin layer of syrup at the base of the Baklava, so if you’ve made too much syrup (like I often do) I just carefully pour some of the excess syrup back into the saucepan.
- Eat and enjoy your Baklava!
Tips and suggestions: If you don’t have maple syrup, just substitute in more honey. If you aren’t a fan of lemon try other citrus, like mandarin, lime, or orange. Another option is to exchange the lemon for rose water. If you don’t have a roller or brush, just use your fingers! Lastly, feel free to experiment with different ratios and leave suggestions in the comments section.