Baklava Phyllo Cups
I’ve never been a big baklava fan. They’ve almost always tasted a bit *too* (and too being a huge understatement) sweet for me. I’ve wanted to make the traditional baklava so many times, so that I can experiment with the sweetness, but the very fact that it takes forever and is such a fine art (or at least sounds like it from the recipes out there :)) that I never ventured forth! Then on a lazy weekday afternoon, when N was napping and Food Network was on, I saw this recipe by Sunny Anderson and I was intrigued enough to try it. I’m so glad I did!
I made a few changes like, made half a batch! This stuff is so addictive and H and I are trying to loose weight. We didn’t need more sweet stuff around the house! Although I have to tell you, I made these for a baby shower and they were such a hit! Then I added cardamom pods while making the honey syrup and I crushed the nuts using a pestle as I wanted them to be nice and chunky and not pulverized in a food processor. If you like your baklava as sweet as it is in the store, I’d say add some more honey… but for people like me who tend to eat less sweet, this recipe was purr-fect!
1. Gluten Free fillo shells are available at Whole foods. I have used both, the regular and the GF ones, and haven’t found a taste difference at all!
2. I recently trekked over to my local Whole Foods and didn’t see them there. I’m removing the GF tag until I find them again! Super sad since I’ve been GF for about 2 months now!
EDIT:- These can also be done completely sugar-free by replacing it with honey (the eventual goal is sticky baklava anyways ;)). I’ve been meaning to try it for a while, but haven’t gotten around to it yet, and completely forgot about it until I posted this! If someone tries it, do let me know how it turns out and what measurements you used!
Baklava Phyllo Cups
Makes: 15 pieces
Ready in: 20 minutes prep time and 5 hours setting time
- 1/4 cup pistachios
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 1/2 lemon, zested
- 1 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/8 cup, plus 1 & 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 boxes mini phyllo shells(15 shells regular, the gluten free ones come in sets of 12)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/8 cup honey
- 3-4 cardamom pods
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. When hot and ready, arrange the pistachios, walnuts, and almonds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden and fragrant, about 8 minutes. One time I accidentally, left them in a min or so more and my baklava had a slightly burnt taste. So keep an eye on them as they roast!
2. Meanwhile, zest the lemon as shown. This was my first time, and what a world of difference zest makes! I didn’t really think much of it, until I ate my first cup *satisfied grin*
3. Once the nuts have cooled slightly, using a mortar and pestle pound them lightly so that they are chunky and not crushed.
4. Add the lemon zest, 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of sugar, butter, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla and mix well.
5. Add the crushed nuts to this mix.
6. Arrange the fillo cups on a baking sheet and put 1 teaspoon of the nut mixture into each shell. Bake until filling is hot, about 10 minutes.
7. While that is baking we can make the honey syrup which goes over the cups. In a small saucepan over medium heat add the water, 1/8 cup sugar, honey and cardamom pods and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until reduced and slightly thickened, 8 to 10 minutes.
8. Pour 1 teaspoon syrup into each cup and allow it to soak in, then repeat with another teaspoon. Refrigerate at least 5 hours, or overnight.