Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Best Baklava Ever!

This is Leona Jenanyan. My grandmother on my Pop's side. She made lots and lots of things at home.

Including that beautiful coat that she is wearing. It's hanging in my closet right now. This picture was taken on a trip to San Francisco. Those were the days that people dressed up to go to the city. She was so stylish.

Here is the cookbook she gave me when I was nineteen in hopes that I would become a good cook. It worked. I do love to cook.

 My favorite recipe in the book is for Baklava. Paklava to the Armenian crowd. Grandma J made the best Paklava. Never tough, always light and delicious. I attempt to replicate it, but always fall a little short. Here is the recipe that I follow from the book.

Click on the recipe picture to enlarge, then save it and print it.

Honey is an important additional ingredient and since this is not Grandma's actual recipe and since that's what she did, that's what I do. Here is my process in pictures.

Yep, three cubes.

Melt 'em.

Mix the sugar and nuts while the three cubes are melting.

Strain the melted butter.

Prep the filo. Make friends and hope for a good dough day.

Lay it out.

Don't worry if it tears. You can still use it.

Cover it with a damp cloth and continue to hope for a good dough day.

Find a pan with a low edge. Like a jelly roll pan. 
Start slathering on some of the melted three cubes.

Do not let the ripped dough daunt you.

Add another layer. And more butter.

Until half of the package of dough is used.

Add the nut mixture. All of it in one layer.

Alternate layering and buttering the remainder of the sheets.

Now I'll let you in on an Armenian secret. 
See those nice clean cuts?
Before slicing put the pan in the freezer for 15 minutes and then cut. 
Up and down.

Then diagonally in one direction.

Pour the remainder of the butter over the top.

Bake and let cool. In the meantime, make the syrup. 
Don't forget the honey.

I like to pour warm syrup over cooled Paklava. Some people pour cool syrup over warm Paklava. Depends on your family tradition.

Let cool and it is ready to share with family and friends.

You should try it. Really. It's not that hard. Just in case, buy two packages of dough. Don't forget to thaw it in the fridge before using. There is nothing like fresh Paklava. Drop some off to your neighbor, bring some to the office and you'll still have plenty left over. Enjoy!


  1. Leona did make wonderful Paklava. A Guin Jenanyan secret to keep the filo from drying out while you are working with it: When I'm working with filo dough, instead of using a damp cloth, which can sometimes touch the dough and make it sticky, I cover it with a large piece of heavy foil. It is easier to slip the dough sheets out from under the foil than a damp cloth, and the foil keeps the dough from drying out just like the damp cloth.

  2. Thanks for the wonderfull recipe its looking amazing....!!


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