For a Christmas dessert recipe with a difference, why not try this Middle Eastern-inspired honey-sweet, crisp baklava?
NUTRITION: PER SERVING
FAT 34G (13.5G SATURATED)
CARBOHYDRATES 54.6G (36.8G SUGARS)
150g shelled unsalted pistachios, plus extra to scatter
150g walnut pieces
150g light brown soft sugar
¼-½ tsp ground cinnamon, to taste
11 filo pastry sheets (25cm x 30cm)
75g unsalted butter, melted
For the syrup
180g caster sugar
½ cinnamon stick
Juice and zest of ½ orange
Juice and zest of ½ lemon
2 tbsp dark honey, such as Greek honey
1½ tsp orange blossom water
For the yogurt ice cream
200ml double cream
500g full-fat Greek yogurt (we like Total)
5 tbsp dark honey
½-1 tsp orange blossom water, to taste
1. To make the baklava, preheat the panggangan to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Whizz the nuts, sugar and cinnamon in a food processor until quite finely ground but still with a few chunks. Halve the filo pastry sheets so they fit a 25cm x 15cm tin or ceramic dish (about 5cm deep). Brush one sheet lightly with melted butter, lay it in the tin/dish, then repeat until you have 6 buttered sheets layered on top of each other. Tip half the nut mixture on top, spread evenly and pat down gently. Repeat the layers with another 6 sheets of buttered filo and the remaining nuts. Top with 10 sheets of buttered filo.
2. Using a very sharp paring knife, cut the top layers of filo into 12 rectangles, then bake for 45-50 minutes until the top is lightly golden and the pastry is crisp. Meanwhile, put all the syrup ingredients and 180ml cold water into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Bubble until you have a sticky syrup that lightly coats the back of a spoon (see tips; it should read 108°C on a digital thermometer. Keep the syrup warm until the baklava is cooked.)
3. When the baklava comes out of the oven, cut all the way through the layers along the indentations, then ladle the warm syrup over the top. The baklava shouldn’t be swimming in syrup – it should just be very sticky. Leave it to stand somewhere cool for at least 6-7 hours, but preferably overnight, by which time it will be very sticky but firm enough to eat.
4. To make the ice cream, whip the cream in a mixing bowl until billowy. Fold through the Greek yogurt, honey and orange blossom water (to taste) with a balloon whisk until smooth, then churn in an ice cream machine until softly set. If you don’t have an ice cream machine, transfer the mixture to a freezerproof container and freeze for an hour, then whisk with a fork to break up the ice crystals. Repeat 2 more times at 1 hour intervals until frozen, then whizz in a food processor and store in the freezer.
5. To serve, take the yogurt ice cream out of the freezer and leave for 5-10 minutes to soften a little before scooping out (see tips). Serve 1-2 pieces of baklava with a scoop of ice cream, with a few chopped pistachios scattered over.
Because of the high yogurt content, the ice cream won’t scoop as easily as all-cream varieties. Heat an ice cream scoop in a mug of hot water, dunking it between scoops.
FREEZE… the finished ice cream for up to a month.