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Pistachio And Orange Baklava Recipe

hand serving slice of baklava out of tray
hand serving slice of baklava out of tray - Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

Baklava, the classic, flaky, and sticky-sweet dessert made with sheets of phyllo dough, can be made a in variety of ways. Whether you're in Turkey, Greece, or within the Middle East, each culture has their own take on the signature sliceable pastry. Most mainstream recipes that we see today will always have the following components: phyllo dough, nuts, butter, and a sugar syrup.

Melted butter is brushed between sheets to seal the layers of phyllo together. Crushed nuts are sprinkled over the top, whether they're ground pistachios like we'll use in this recipe from developer Alexander Roberts or more traditional walnuts. Once the baklava layering process is complete, it gets scored into diamonds and goes into the oven for 45 minutes. After the bake, a simmered simple syrup (usually containing honey) will be poured over the pastry. Served warm, the sticky and flaky layers of baklava come together to make a comforting dessert like no other.

Read more: 23 Whole Foods Baked Goods, Ranked

Grab The Ingredients For Pistachio And Orange Baklava

ingredients for orange pistachio baklava on wooden counter
ingredients for orange pistachio baklava on wooden counter - Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

Flaky layered pastries can be intimidating, but the phyllo dough in this recipe is going to do all the work for you! This delicious dessert can be prepared using less than 10 ingredients. They can all be found in most grocery stores -- look for phyllo dough in the freezer aisle.

In addition to phyllo dough, you'll need at least 3 cups of pistachios (roasted and salted are best here), along with 2 sticks of unsalted butter. We'll add some cinnamon for a warm spice note, and use both orange zest and orange blossom water to brighten the sweetness of the baklava. For the simple syrup, we'll use white granulated sugar, honey, and water.

Step 1: Preheat The Oven

oven preheating to 350
oven preheating to 350 - Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Step 2: Grease The Baking Dish

lightly greased baking dish on stove
lightly greased baking dish on stove - Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.

Step 3: Grind The Pistachios

pistachios and cinnamon in food processor
pistachios and cinnamon in food processor - Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

Add the pistachios and cinnamon to a food processor. Pulse until pistachios are finely chopped.

Step 4: Begin Layering The Phyllo Dough

layers of phyllo in baking dish
layers of phyllo in baking dish - Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

Add 2 sheets of phyllo to the baking dish.

Step 5: Brush The Phyllo With Butter

brushing butter on phyllo dough, melted butter in pot
brushing butter on phyllo dough, melted butter in pot - Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

Brush evenly with some of the butter.

Step 6: Sprinkle The Pistachios On Top

layers of phyllo dough and pistachios
layers of phyllo dough and pistachios - Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

Add an even sprinkling of chopped pistachios.

Step 7: Repeat The Layering Process

layering phyllo for baklava
layering phyllo for baklava - Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

Repeat the layering: 2 sheets of phyllo, then butter, then nuts.

Step 8: Finish Constructing

brushing phyllo dough with butter
brushing phyllo dough with butter - Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

Top with 2 sheets of phyllo and brush with butter.

Step 9: Score The Diamond Pattern

scoring phyllo dough for baklava
scoring phyllo dough for baklava - Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

To create a diamond pattern, first slice 6 columns lengthwise, cutting through the entire pastry.

Step 10: Finish Cutting The Diamonds

slicing baklava into diamonds
slicing baklava into diamonds - Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

Cut 10 diagonals across the baklava, again cutting through the pastry.

Step 11: Bake The Baklava

baking baklava in the oven
baking baklava in the oven - Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

Bake for 45–50 minutes, until the top is light brown and phyllo is slightly pulling away from edges.

Step 12: Make The Syrup

adding orange juice and sugar to pot
adding orange juice and sugar to pot - Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

While the baklava bakes, zest and juice the orange into a small pot. Add the sugar, water, honey, and orange blossom water.

Step 13: Simmer The Syrup

simmering simple syrup on stove
simmering simple syrup on stove - Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Step 14: Pour The Syrup Over The Baklava

pouring simple syrup on baklava
pouring simple syrup on baklava - Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

Pour the warm syrup over the hot baklava in two additions, allowing the first half of the syrup to soak in before adding the rest.

Step 15: Serve

sliced baklava on white plate with metal spoon
sliced baklava on white plate with metal spoon - Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

Slice and serve warm.

Can I Make Pistachio And Orange Baklava Ahead Of Time? How Can I Store Baklava?

baklava served on plate next to tray
baklava served on plate next to tray - Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

Since baklava takes a bit of time to prepare and bake, you may be wondering if it can be made ahead of time. The answer is yes! Not only is it totally fine to make it in advance, but it's actually better as it allows more time for the flavors to meld together and for the phyllo dough to become moist. It can be served the moment it's done or the next day when the flavors are married a bit more. You could technically assemble the baklava up to step 10 and leave it in the fridge until you're ready to bake it.

Roberts suggests baking it fully up to 2 days in advance. "There's so much syrup and butter that it really won't be adversely affected," he says. "Taste with intention and note how the flavor changes -- or even improves -- each day." Leave it wrapped in plastic at room temperature. If you'd like to warm it up again, place it in the oven at 350 F for about 15 minutes.

What Is Phyllo Dough? Are There Any Substitutes For Making Pistachio And Orange Baklava?

phyllo dough layers on wooden table
phyllo dough layers on wooden table - Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

Phyllo dough is the main ingredient of baklava, but what exactly is it in the first place? Similar to puff pastry, it is sheets and sheets of dough thinly layered together. Puff pastry, however, contains much more butter, making it closer to pie dough. Phyllo sheets are so thin they are basically paper! To create phyllo, an unleavened dough is made with flour, water, and a little oil. It's extremely laborious to create by hand, though, which is why we advise taking the easy route and purchasing a frozen box at the grocery store.

Given phyllo dough's unique nature, there is no substitute when making baklava. Puff pastry could provide a similar result, but you would only want to use 2 sheets of dough and follow the baking instructions listed on the package. "Phyllo is the type of product that's so unique you can't really sub it out for anything else," says Roberts. "Find it at a specialty grocer or order online, if possible. It truly makes or breaks the dish."

Pistachio And Orange Baklava Recipe

baklava with syrup on top in baking dish
baklava with syrup on top in baking dish - Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

Prep Time: 20mCook Time: 50mYield: 12 servingsIngredients

  • 3 cups pistachios

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 (1-pound) package phyllo dough, defrosted

  • 8 ounces butter, melted

  • 1 orange

  • ¾ cup sugar

  • ¾ cup water

  • ⅓ cup honey

  • 1 teaspoon orange blossom water

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

  2. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.

  3. Add the pistachios and cinnamon to a food processor. Pulse until pistachios are finely chopped.

  4. Add 2 sheets of phyllo to the baking dish.

  5. Brush evenly with some of the butter.

  6. Add an even sprinkling of chopped pistachios.

  7. Repeat the layering: 2 sheets of phyllo, then butter, then nuts.

  8. Top with 2 sheets of phyllo and brush with butter.

  9. To create a diamond pattern, first slice 6 columns lengthwise, cutting through the entire pastry.

  10. Cut 10 diagonals across the baklava, again cutting through the pastry.

  11. Bake for 45–50 minutes, until the top is light brown and phyllo is slightly pulling away from edges.

  12. While the baklava bakes, zest and juice the orange into a small pot. Add the sugar, water, honey, and orange blossom water.

  13. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

  14. Pour the warm syrup over the hot baklava in two additions, allowing the first half of the syrup to soak in before adding the rest.

  15. Slice and serve warm.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.