How to cook
The walnuts are grinded or chopped into small pieces. If desired, they can be combined with pistachios 50/50.
The filo pastry sheets are cut according to the shape of the pan and the leftover cut outs are also preserved. My tray is square with dimensions of 10″/10″ (25/25 cm).
Grease the pan with melted butter and place the filo pastry sheets and cut outs so that they fit the shape of the pan, each of which is greased with plenty of butter and the walnuts are distributed in two.
The last 3 layers of the filo pastry sheets are smeared only with butter.
Cut the baklava into triangles or rhombuses and pour more butter into the cracks, if there are any.
Bake it in a preheated 320°F (160 degree) oven until it aquires a nice golden brown color. In order for it to dry well, I sometimes reduce the oven to 293°F (145 degrees) and bake it a little longer, but this saves me the drying process (2-3 days).
The baked baklava is left to cool well for at least 3-4 hours. It is not covered, so that it doesn't steam and soften. In case it is baked on a higher heat, it is left to dry well for at least 1 day.
The syrup is prepared by boiling the sugar with water and lemon peel for about 8-10 minutes on high heat. The lemon juice is added, vanilla sugar and the peel is removed.
Pour the hot syrup evenly over the cold Christmas baklava and leave it to soak well overnight and once it cools down, it is stored in the refrigerator.
At home we love this very juicy, well soaked up in syrup and at the same time crunchy baklava for Christmas.
Happy Holidays and enjoy!