Cypriot baklava recipe


  • Yield: 14


  • 1 lb (450 g) filo pastry
  • 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 oz (175 g) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons orange blossom water
  • 1½ pints (900 ml) milk
  • 9 oz (250 g) sugar
  • 4 oz (110 g) fine semolina or rice flour
  • ½ lb (225 g) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • pinch of salt
How to Make It
  1. First prepare the filling. Pour the milk into a saucepan and stir in 175 g (6 oz) of the sugar and the semolina or rice flour. Add the pieces of butter and cook over a moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens like a custard. Stir in the grated orange rind, pour into a large bowl and leave to cool. When the custard is cool place the egg whites in a bowl with the salt and whisk until stiff. Place the egg yolks in another bowl with the remaining 75 g (3 oz) sugar and whisk until pale and creamy. Fold the egg whites and egg yolks gently but quickly into the custard.
  2. Open out the filo pastry, take out 7-8 sheets of filo and cover with a tea towel to prevent drying. Wrap well and refrigerate or freeze the remaining pastry for future use. The sheets of pastry are usually about 53 × 28 cm (21 × 11 in); cut them in half to give sheets about 26 × 28 cm (10½ × 11 in). Stack the sheets on top of each other and cover again with the tea towel.
  3. Lay one sheet of the pastry out flat on a work top and place 2 tablespoons of the filling in a ridge about 12.5 cm (5 in) long, 6 cm (2½ in) in from the edge nearest you. Fold the edge of the pastry over the filling, fold the 2 sides in over the ends of the filling and carefully roll the pastry up. Roll it loosely as the filling will expand as it cooks. Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling.
  4. Grease 2 large baking trays and arrange the pastries, openings underneath, on them at least 2.5 cm (1 in) apart. Brush the surface of the pastries with the melted butter and place in an oven preheated to 180C (350F) gas 4. Cook for 30-40 minutes, until the custard filling puffs up and the pastry is a light golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
  5. Prepare the syrup. Place the sugar, lemon juice and 450 ml (¾ pint) water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, remove from the heat and stir in the orange blossom water. Pour the syrup over the galatabourego and leave to cool. These are delicious on their own or with cream.

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