Every year at the Stour Music Festival, the marvellous Jo produces the most heavenly, sinful, honey-drenched baklava. This year, she's let me have a go.... and I'm not sure whether I can bring myself to share it! This is a classic Greek sweet pudding, with light layers of filo interspersed with chopped nuts, the whole thing seeped in honey. Actually, it's very easy to make (and even easier to eat).
1 packet filo pastry – 12 leaves
8oz mixed nuts – salted peanuts/walnuts/pistachios
8oz Demerara sugar
melted butter (between quarter to half a pack)
1 jar runny honey (warmed in the microwave)
Preheat the oven to 170 deg C and butter a solid strong baking tray (one you don’t mind scoring with a knife) about 12 x 15". Chop the nuts together (a blender is ideal for this) and add the sugar and a dusting of cinnamon.
Lay out the filo pastry and cover it with a damp cloth while you are working (it helps to lay it out on something non-stick!). Lay the first piece onto the baking tray and brush it with the melted butter. Repeat with another three layers. Then add an even layer of the nut/sugar mixture, about half of the mix. Repeat with four layers of pastry, buttering each one. Add the rest of the mixture, and finish with the final layers of pastry. Butter the top piece.
Cut three long parallel lines in the baklava, and then the diagonal lines so you should end up with pretty diamondish shaped pieces (or simple oblongs if life is too short). Bake in the oven until it is golden – about half an hour. Remove from the oven, and immediately pour over the honey. It should thoroughly drench the pastry.
Lastly, leave it to soak for at least six hours, if you can. The honey gradually works its way down into the bottom layers. This keeps well, and shouldn’t be put into a fridge or it will go soggy.