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Baklava

This Middle Eastern delicacy is full of crunchy nuts and drenched in sweet, nectar-like honey.

Makes around 20 pieces  Total time 1 hr 10 mins

Ingredients 

• 1 x 270g ready-rolled filo pastry sheets 

• 300g mixed nuts 

• 6 tbsp runny honey


Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 160°C/140°C fan/Gas 3, and grease a square baking tray or dish (25cm x 25cm) with a little butter or oil. 

2. Use a sharp knife to cut the filo into sheets exactly the same size as the base of the dish. You’ll need at least nine. Lay them flat on a table on top of one another, covered with a damp tea towel so they don’t crisp up and dry out. Keep and refreeze any offcuts. 

3. Chop the nuts into coarse chunks. 

4. Now it’s time to assemble your baklava. Start with two sheets of filo, then scatter around a quarter of the nuts on top. Sprinkle a little cold water over the top to dampen the pastry and help it all stick together – I just stick my hand in a glass and shake it out over the top. 

5. Repeat three times, giving you four identical layers, or keep going until all the nuts and pastry – except one sheet – are used up. Lay this final, single sheet over the top. 

6. Before it goes in the oven, use a sharp knife to cut the baklava. I do mine in four long rows, then slice these diagonally to make diamonds. Make sure you cut right down to the base of the pastry – it’s fiddly, so take your time to avoid tearing the super thin filo. 

7. Bake the baklava for 50 mins. You’ll know it’s ready when the top layer is crisp and brown. 

8. Meanwhile, make the sticky topping. Put the honey in a saucepan and heat it gently for 5-10 mins, until it melts and thins out. When the baklava is baked, spoon or pour the honey over the top. Return it to the oven for 10 mins.

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