The best Greek baklava

Greek food is not often home-cooked here in Australia, but with the right ingredients, you can create a fantastic Mediterranean eating experience that will transport you to the blue and white coastline of Santorini for a night. Here is a favourite Greek recipe for the delicious and beautifully sweet baklava.


For the filling:

  • 500g walnuts, coarsely ground
  • 500g almonds, coarsely ground
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon

For the syrup:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 10 whole cloves
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 500g phyllo pastry sheets
  • 500g unsalted butter, melted


  1. Mix the walnuts, almonds, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  3. Carefully remove the Phyllo roll from the plastic sleeve. Most packages come in 12 x 18-inch sheets when opened fully. Using a scissor or sharp knife, cut the sheets in half to make two stacks of 9 x 12-inch sheets. To prevent drying, cover one stack with wax paper and a damp paper towel while working with the other.
  4. Using a pastry brush, brush the bottom and sides of a 9 x 12 rectangular pan. Begin by layering six sheets of phyllo making sure to brush each with melted butter.
  5. Add half of the nut mixture in an even layer. Pat it down with a spatula to flatten it.
  6. Continue layering another 6 sheets of phyllo. Add the remaining nut mixture in an even layer. Top with the remaining phyllo sheets.
  7. Before baking, score the top layer of phyllo (making sure not to go past the top filling layer) to enable easier cutting of pieces later. I place the pan in the freezer to harden the top layers and then use a serrated knife.
  8. Bake in a preheated 325-degree oven for about 45 minutes or until the phyllo turns a rich golden colour.
  9. While the baklava is cooking, in a medium saucepan, combine the water and the sugar and mix well. Add the cloves and simmer over medium-high heat for about 20 minutes. You want the syrup to be slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and discard the cloves. Stir in the juice of half a lemon. Allow the syrup to cool slightly.
  10. When the baklava is out of the oven and still warm, ladle the syrup carefully into the pan. Baklava can be refrigerated or stored at room temperature.

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