How to make the best Turkish baklava recipe, small Turkish pastries stuffed with dried fruits, almonds, and pistachio nuts flavored with orange blossom water and made with thin sheets of crispy and buttery phyllo dough pastry soaked in sugar syrup.
Baklava recipe is a small oriental pastry, a Turkish cuisine specialty very well known in the Middle East and North Africa where they are called Baklawa.
Each region has its own variation of baklava, here it is the Turkish pistachio baklava recipe version, made with a nut mixture made of chopped pistachios and almonds that can be replaced by walnuts or hazelnuts as in the traditional and authentic recipe.
Pistachio Baklava are made of several layers of very thin dough called filo dough or phyllo dough. Between these crunchy layers, one or more layers of stuffing made of a mixture of crushed dried fruit powder and flavored with orange blossom water.
After baking, Turkish baklavas are soaked with sugar syrup or a mixture of honey and orange blossom water as in the Algerian versions of baklawa and other variants of the Maghreb.
This diamond-shaped dessert looks quite intimidating, but it is actually very easy to make homemade baklava and just requires a bit of organization and preparation time.
Ingredients and substitutions
Here is an overview of the ingredients and possible substitutions to make this Turkish baklava recipe at home, scroll down the page to see the quantities directly in the recipe card.
Phyllo pastry is very thin layers of dough that are used to make Middle Eastern pastries, put together one on top of the other they give after baking a very crispy dough a bit like puff pastry.
In the Maghreb, baklawa is made with a homemade phyllo pastry dough that is a bit less flaky than the commercial sheets of phyllo dough. Here to make it simple I took thin sheets of phyllo pastry bought in a Turkish grocery store.
We brush them with melted butter, ghee also called smen, which is a clarified butter without whey. This allows having very crispy layers after baking.
We make a nut mixture of dried fruits, almonds, pistachio nuts or hazelnuts, walnut kernels and even pecans.
After baking, hot baklava are soaked with sugar syrup, which is made of powdered sugar, water or orange blossom, honey, corn syrup, and fresh lemon juice and zest.
You can also add unsweetened cocoa powder to the filling for a chocolate baklava version, peanut butter or almond butter.
⚠️ You will find the quantities and complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of the page.
How to make Baklava recipe
1 - Make the nut filling
- Place the almonds with the skin and unsalted pistachios on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Roast in a preheated oven at 347°F / 150°C for 15 minutes and then let the nuts cool down a little.
- Blend the dried fruit in a food processor until you have a fine powder with a few small pieces.
- Place the nut mixture in a bowl, add the powdered sugar and mix.
- Sprinkle with orange blossom water and mix again until you have a moist, slightly sticky mixture.
2 - Place the Phyllo sheets
- Cut 20 phyllo sheets slightly larger than the diameter of your pan or baking dish.
- With a brush grease the bottom of the pan and also the edges with melted butter.
- Place the first sheet of phyllo dough on the bottom of the pan and with your hands, make it stick to the bottom of the pan, avoiding as much as possible leaving air bubbles.
- Apply a layer of melted butter with the brush and repeat with the remaining 9 filo sheets.
Tip: Use a large round baking pan and cut phyllo layers to the right diameter in advance for easier and faster assembly.
3 - Almond and pistachio filling
- Pour the dried fruit filling onto the 10th sheet of phyllo pastry and press down with the back of a tablespoon or the bottom of a glass to get an even layer.
- Apply a small layer of melted butter to the dried fruit filling and then cover with the 11th layer of phyllo dough.
- Continue with all remaining sheets and finish by brushing the last sheet with melted butter.
- Cut out with a sharp knife to form a rosette (see patterns in the recipe below).
Tip: Be careful to make clean, precise cuts and if necessary, repeat the process twice.
4 - Baking
- Preheat the oven to 350 )F / 180°C and bake the Turkish baklava for about 40-50 minutes until golden brown on top.
- Immediately pour the hot syrup into the hot baklava, then cover and leave overnight at room temperature.
- When they are well cooled, turn out each piece of pistachio baklava gently one by one and serve them on a plate or put them in small paper boxes.
- Serve Turkish pistachio baklava on a dessert plate with vanilla ice cream or with a glass of fresh mint tea.
Tip: You can use the knife again to make sure the phyllo sheets has been well cut and for easy unmoulding.
At room temperature: Pistachio baklava can be kept for several weeks at room temperature in a storage box protected from humidity.
In the freezer: You can also keep them up to 3 months in the freezer, placed in a storage box with a lid.
Frequently asked questions
Baklawa should be kept at room temperature, in a cool place in a storage box away from humidity to keep it crisp.
To cut a baklawa you can either cut it in the shape of a rosette or cut it directly into strips to be re-cut into small diamonds.
More oriental pastries
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