Here is a baklava recipe (or baclava recipe) especially adapted for the Passover / Pesach festival. The following baklava recipe has several steps, but I have tried to simplify them by listing them in short steps as much as possible. A baklava recipe is one of several Middle-Eastern-style dessert recipes for the Passover / Pesach festival and it has a rich history as you will discover in the following paragraphs.
Baklava : What is it?
Baklava (also spelled: Baclava) is a popular sweet pastry in Middle Eastern Persian, Arab, Turkish, Greek, and Albanian cuisines. It consists of ground and finely chopped walnuts or pistachios between sheets of phyllo (or "filo") pastry, soaked in a sugary solution which is made mostly of sugar and may contain either lemon juice or honey and spices with rosewater, and is either cut into small squares or rolled and cut into circular slices. As with any food, there are regional variations in the recipe with the most common ones being the syrup recipe and whether or not it contains honey.
It is widely believed that the Anatolians in the 8th century B.C.E. created Baklava. The Greek seamen and merchants traveling east soon discovered the delights of Baklava. It awestruck their taste buds. They brought the recipe to Athens. The Greeks' major contribution to the development of this pastry is the creation of a dough technique that made it possible to roll it as thin as a leaf, compared to the rough, bread-like texture of the Anatolian dough. In fact, the name "Phyllo" was coined by Greeks, which means "leaf" in the Greek language. The word "Baklava" itself is ultimately derived from "Baklavi", which is Arabic for "nuts".
Baklava is a complex, layered dessert made with paper thin sheets of phyllo (also spelled "filo" or "fillo") dough that have been buttered and layered in a rectangular baking dish, or layered and rolled into a log. Phyllo dough is used in thin layers to make pastries and originated in Mediterranean cuisine. For Baklava, walnuts or pistachios are used most often sometimes with a combination of almonds, and pecans. Ground nuts and a little sugar and cinnamon are also used for variation. In Lebanese cuisine, Baklava is traditionally cut into diamonds. Another variation is cutting Baklava into squares.
For the Passover festival, however, phyllo leaves are prohibited for all Jews, so the following recipe for Passover Baklava substitutes matzo for phyllo leaves.
8 pieces matzoh
2 1/4 cups each almonds and walnuts, finely chopped (at least 30 seconds in a food processor)
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
12 tablespoons butter or pareve margarine, melted
For the syrup:
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
3 slices lemon
3 slices orange
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water (optional, for Passover)
Instructions for the Matzoh Baklava recipe:
To prepare matzoh:
For the syrup:
Yield: 18 pieces of matzoh baklava.