In Bosnia, if you have guests coming over or you want to show your respect for someone, you offer baklava. My mum always had reserves of it in her freezer, waiting for unexpected visitors. I was never a big fan of it and its strong flavour, but if somebody put baklava in front of me, I would eat it all to show my gratitude. In later years, I wanted to make peace with baklava, so I made my own version. It’s not too sweet, with lemon zest to cut the sweetness. Now, my family has its own recipe.
Every family has a baklava recipe and while the differences may not be significant, every one is proud of their own version.
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 150 g (⅔ cup) caster sugar
- 120 ml sour cream
- 120 ml sunflower oil, plus extra for brushing
- 130 g semolina
- juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 100 g walnuts, ground
- 50 g raisins
- 6 sheets filo pastry
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Cooling time 30 minutes
Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
Place the egg, egg yolk, sugar, sour cream, oil, semolina, lemon juice and zest, ground walnuts and raisins in a bowl and whisk until everything is incorporated.
Lay 1 filo sheet in a 20 cm round pie tin, leaving the excess pastry hanging over the side of the tin. Brush with the extra oil. Lay another filo sheet on top of it. Spread one-third of the walnut mixture over the filo. Repeat the process two more times.
Bring the pastry hanging over the tin and arrange it on the top. Bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden. Cool completely, then serve.
Recipe from Little Upside Down Cake by Sanda Vuckovic Pagaimo, with photographs by Sanda Vuckovic Pagaimo.
This recipe is featured as part of our online column, Blog Appétit: Little Upside Down Cake. View more recipes from this column.
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