No, I’m still not coming to terms with the fact that Indian stores do not carry ready rolled pastry. Surely you remember this rant?  I’m one of those people—the type that will slave over the most elaborate of ingredients and work on recipes that run into pages, but when struck by whim, I have no patience. I need my craving to be satisfied, and I need it now.
Today, it had to be Baklava. I had read and bookmarked several recipes that started with phyllo dough, and I’m sure I’ll get down to that one day. But this is what I made today—a quick pan full of crispy, nutty, chewy sweetness; and my dear India-based, ready-rolled-pastry-deprived reader, I will tell you, once again, that stashing a pack of samosa pattis in your freezer is not such a bad idea after all. For stuff apart from patti samosas .
Baklava with Samosa Pattis (or Wonton Wrappers)
- ¼ cup pistachios, chopped
- ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
- ¼ cup almonds, chopped
- ¼ cup + 1 cup caster sugar
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Shaved rind of ½ an orange
- Shaved rind of ½ a lemon
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2 tbsp. honey (I skipped this because I don’t like honey)
- 1 tsp. rose water (I didn’t have any, so I skipped this)
- 1 cup melted ghee or unsalted butter
- 26 samosa pattis (strips)
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade.
- Grease a square or rectangular ovenproof dish with ghee.
- Lay down two samosa strips to cover the base of the dish. Brush with ghee.
- Place another layer of samosa strips and brush with ghee. Build about 8 layers in this fashion.
- Sprinkle half the chopped nuts and half of the quarter cup of sugar on this layer.
- Follow up with two layers of samosa strips and another layer of nuts and sugar.
- Finish with two layers of the samosa strips topped with a generous brushing of ghee.
- Cut the baklava into squares or diamonds or other shape of choice.
- Pour any extra ghee you have left over the cut baklava.
- Bake for about 45 minutes until the top layers are crisp and golden.
- While the baklava bakes, make the syrup by placing the 1 cup of sugar in a saucepan, covering it with 1 and ½ cups of water, honey (if using), the shaved rinds and lemon juice. If you’re using rose water, add it at the end. When the syrup coats the back of a spoon, turn off the heat.
- Once the baklava is out of the oven, ladle the syrup onto the hot baklava, and allow to cool.
- Leave to rest for at least two hours.
- Re-do your cuts, sprinkle with pistachio dust and rose petals if feeling fancy, and serve.