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JJ'S BAKLAVA TRIANGLES

JJ'S BAKLAVA TRIANGLES

My sister who grew up in an Ashkenazi home and married a Sephardi man, spends time adapting recipes that take on a special fusion we call them ashkafardi recipes. Here she has adapted the classic baklava pastry of the middle east but shaped them into triangles to mimic the Ashkenazi Hamantashen where the filling is hidden.

For triangles:

  • 500 g (about 24 sheets) phyllo pastry
  • About 240 ml (1 cup) olive oil or melted butter

For Filling:

  • 4 cups mixed nuts, any combination of almonds, pistachios and walnuts
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water
  • Two long strips of orange rind, removed from the orange with a vegetable peeler, roughly chopped

For Syrup:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of saffron threads (optional)

For triangles:

1. Preheat oven to 180 ˚C (350 ˚F). Line a baking sheet with baking paper and set aside.

2. Lay the stack of phyllo sheets on a flat surface working with one sheet at a time. Cover any phyllo you are not working with first, plastic wrap and then a damp towel.

3. Cut filo pastry sheet into 4 long strips. Place 1 tablespoon of filling in one corner of pastry, leaving a 1cm border. Don’t overfill triangles or they will split.

4. Gently lift pastry corner with filling and fold tightly diagonally to create a triangle. Continue folding, retaining triangle shape.

5. Place triangles on a tray lined with baking paper. If making a large quantity, cover already-prepared triangles with a damp tea towel to prevent them drying out.

6. Bake until crisp and golden, about 15 minutes, while still warm pour the cool syrup over the triangles and store until ready to serve.

7. Triangles can be made up to 5 days in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

For filling:
1. Place all ingredients in a food processor, pulse until everything is well blended but don’t let it go so far that it becomes buttery.

For Syrup:
1. Stir the sugar, water, lemon juice together in a small saucepan. Over a minimum heat dissolve sugar about 5 minutes, increase heat and bring to a gentle boil, cook until the mixture is slightly syrupy about 5 more minutes, take off the heat and stir in saffron. Let cool. The syrup keeps in the refrigerator for several weeks.