Pistachio Baklava Recipe

Pistachio Baklava Recipe
By The Cooking World, Editorial Staff
November 19, 2021

Salma Hage's Pistachio Baklava Recipe

For this week's recipe, we are back with our We Cook Books series, this time with a delicious Pistachio Baklava Recipe from Middle Eastern Sweets.

Baklava sounds like such an exotic and mysterious pastry, with its connotations of souks piled high with nuts and spices, or syrupy Arabic coffee served alongside, but it's really easy to make.

Most baklavas are eye-wateringly sweet and sticky, held together with a drenching of sugar syrup, but this version layers dried apricots through the pastry to give it a bass-note sweetness, allowing for less sugar overall.

15 minutes
50 minutes
about 36 pieces


350 g (2 cups) raw pistachios
130 g (3/4 cup) superfine caster sugar
seeds from 10 cardamom pods
0.7 g (1/4 teaspoon) ground cinnamon
100 g (2/3 cup) soft dried apricots
small pinch of fine sea salt
150 g (5 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, melted
12 sheets of filo pastry
150 g (3/4 cup) runny honey
100 g (scant 1/2 cup) water
grated zest and lemon and juice of 1 lemon

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  1. Preheat the oven to 160 ºC (325 ºF).
  2. Blitz the pistachios, 2 tablespoons of the sugar (setting the rest aside in a bowl for later), the spices, apricots, and salt together in a food processor until rough crumbs form, but stop before the mixture turns to a paste.
  3. Brush all the inside edges of the baking pan with melted butter, then lay a sheet of filo across the base. Fold any overhanging edges of pastry in to form a neat rectangle that nestles inside the pan's edges, and brush the top of the pastry with butter. Repeat with 3 more sheets of pastry, brushing with melted butter as you go. Spread half the nut mixture over the fourth layer of pastry so that it's evenly distributed to all four sides.
  4. Lay 4 more sheets of pastry over the nuts, brushing each one with melted butter before spreading over the remaining nuts. Finish the baklava with a final 4 layers of butter-brushed flaky filo. Cut the pastry into diamonds or squares (slicing right through to the base of the pan) about the size of a passport photo, and place the tray in the oven for 50 minutes until puffed up and golden on top.
  5. While the baklava is baking, make the syrup. Place the remaining sugar in a small saucepan with the honey, water, lemon zest and juice. Cook over a medium heat until the sugar has melted and the syrup has turned from golden to a deep caramel color.
  6. Remove the baklava from the oven and immediately pour over the syrup (warm it through to make it runny if it has cooled down and hardened). Allow the baklava to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then remove to a plate to serve.
  7. Keep covered in an airtight container for up to a week.
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