Without a doubt, baklavas are the most emblematic dessert of the Middle East. A precisely prepared baklava, with fresh and good quality ingredients, is unforgettable. Although it is important to clarify that the name baklava is used to refer to a variety of cakes prepared with filo dough, nuts, and syrup.
So really, what are baklavas? They are a dessert made from filo pastry, filled with a crushed mass of dried fruits. The mass of nuts can vary from pistachios to almonds. Then they are bathed in honey or syrup, and a touch of orange blossom water.
Unfortunately, many of the bakeries that offer these desserts in the West do not do justice to the dessert prepared in the Middle East. The reasons are multiple. One of the most frequent is that they use nuts that are not fresh. Even, sometimes, the sweets themselves, have several days of preparation. Another reason is that some pastry chefs decide to vary the recipes of the Arab pastry chefs, to make desserts more adapted to Western palates. Which is the worst mistake.
If you want to delve into the world of Middle Eastern pastry, get ready to savor pistachios, cashews, filo dough, lots of spices, and honey until you are cloying. This type of dessert is usually very small, but it is almost impossible to eat just one.
In this post, we will teach you how to prepare the pistachio baklavas at home. They will be fresh and delicious. The only downside is that eating Middle Eastern sweets involves trying a lot of different pastries. And in this case, we will only use pistachio. If you want more variety, you should try several types of nuts to obtain different baklavas.
How to accompany the Baklavas?
These cakes, best known for being Turkey's traditional dessert, are usually eaten in the middle of the afternoon. In many pastry shops, they are accompanied by coffee or hot infusions.
However, I consider that you do not need anything extra to enjoy the delicious baklavas. They are cakes with a very strong flavor, and very sweet, ideal to enjoy little by little. When tasting baklava, take advantage of perceiving all the flavors and textures that they provide. It depends on the pastry chef, you can find notes of orange blossom, roses, or even nutmeg.
The recipe for our post is from the famous Turkish Chef Musa Dagdeviren, from his book "Gastronomic Turkey". Incidentally, Dagdeviren's book is a true gem that compiles the best 550 recipes from Turkey, giving particular importance to the fusion of flavors and ingredients that the ancient cuisine of the Middle East has with Europe and Asia.