Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr 5 mins
This recipe comes from The Joy of Vegan Baking (a must have) and is one of my absolute favorites. Phyllo dough can be a challenge to work with, so if you're inexperienced with it, be patient and make sure it doesn't dry out. Whatever you do, don't use a light margarine (like Smart Balance Light) with this recipe. You will end up with soggy phyllo instead of crispy (learn from my mistake). Earth Balance works well. You'll need a pastry brush for this. My favorite nut mix is either pistachios alone or mixed with walnuts. One last thing: don't make this if you're on a diet. You won't be able to stop eating it.
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 cup agave nectar
- 3 cups nuts (Pistachios, walnuts, almost, or pecans)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough, thawed (you will only use about half)
- 3⁄4 cup margarine, melted
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Margarine the bottom and sides of a 9X13 - inch baking dish.
- 2. In a small saucepan, heat the water and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the vanilla and agave nectar. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, and set aside to cool. You want this to be completely cooled before pouring onto the baked baklava.
- 3. Pulse the nuts in a food processor until they're a coarse meal (not fine crumbs). Add the cinnamon and mix. Set aside.
- 4. Carefully unroll the phyllo dough from the package. Trim the stack of dough into 9x13 inch sheets, so they fit into the pan (I use Athens Fillo Dough and it fits almost perfectly, so I don't trim it down). Keep the sheets that you're not working with covered with some waxed paper and a damp cloth (the waxed paper goes directly on top of the dough, the wet towel on top. If you have a helper, they can lift the paper/cloth as needed, makes it easier). Place 2 sheets of dough in the pan, and using a pastry brush, coat the top sheet completely with margarine. Spread a thin layer of the nut mixture, add 2 more sheets of phyllo. Repeat with the butter, nut mixture, and 2 phyllo sheets until you have a total of 8 layered sheets. For the top layer, place 2-4 phyllo sheets, but this time brush margarine between each individual sheet.
- 5. Using a very sharp knife, carefully cut the baklava into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. This is important to do now because you won't be able to cut the baklava once it's baked without crushing the pastry.
- 6. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the baklava is golden. Remove from the oven and immediately pour or spoon the (completely cooled) sauce over. Cool uncovered for at least 3 hours or overnight before serving.
I used raisins, and perhaps made a smaller portion than called for. I tend to eyeball things a bit more than I should. 45min burned my raisins! Otherwise it turned out very well.