Rhodesli Baklava


— by Marcia Israel Weingarten

Baklava is a sweet pastry made of layers of Filo dough filled with chopped nuts and bathed in a sweet syrup. It is labeled as a Turkish, Greek or any of a variety of Middle Eastern countries’ delicacy. My family made it on the Island of Rhodes, so I claim it as my own.

The full recipe after the jump.
There are many variations in making Baklava. Different communities feature different nut mixtures and dIfferent configurations when baking. My mom makes a rolled variety. Here is her recipe:

Kaye Hasson Israel’s Rhodesli Baklava

ingredients:

  • 1 Lb prepared FIlo Dough
  • 5 Cups almonds, ground (or other nuts of your choosing)
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 C oil in a small bowl.
  • 1/2 C Tasted Sesame Seeds (optional)

Syrup ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 C Honey
  • 1 1/2 C Sugar
  • 1 C Water

  1. Prepare a mixture using ground nuts, sugar, cinnamon and gloves. Set aside.
  2. Open package of Filo. Keep moist and usable by placing a moist cloth over the waxed paper covered batch of Filo that you are not currently using ( otherwise, Filo has a tendency to dry out).
  3. Place one layer of Filo on your work surface. Brush with oil. Place a second layer of Filo directly on top. Brush second layer with oil.
  4. Sprinkle nut mixture in a thin, even layer on brushed Filo. Top with one additional sheet of Filo. Brush with oil.
  5. Begin to roll Filo tightly. Slice rolled Filo log at a diagonal. Cut approximately 1 inch in length. Place cut pieces on a cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes (Since ovens vary, watch as it bakes…when it begins to take on color, you can remove from the oven)
  7. Allow to cool.
  8. In the meantime, prepare syrup: Combine all ingredients. Boil on stove. Cook until it becomes “sticky” (if you have a cooled bit between your fingers, it should form “strings”)
  9. When syrup is ready, pour over tray of baked Baklava. Allow syrup to soak in.
  10. For serving, “soaked” piece of Baklava can be placed in size-to-fit paper Bake Cups (often called Cupcake liners) and placed on a serving platter.
  11. Divine!

Marcia Israel Weingarten is the creator of Bendichas Manos. “Bendichos Manos” which means “Blessed Hands,” is an exploration of the Sephardic recipes handed down in Marcia’s family.

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