Cooking with Honey: Baklava

Studio 5 Contributor Sue Neal shares her favorite Baklava recipe.

When I think of recipes with honey, I think of Baklava; the super sticky sweet, chewy, crunchy pastry from Greece and Turkey. Delicate sheets of Filo pastry wrapped around a cornucopia of chopped nuts, honey and lemon.

It’s one of the most delectable things I’ve ever eaten.

This is a Turkish version that is rolled.

{Can be served as a dessert…or as mini bites for a buffet}

My memories of Baklava go back to Saturday morning Farmer’s markets in Ontario, Canada. I would always make a bee-line (yes, I meant to pun!) to the local Greek guy who made a huge selection of Greek pastries. My favorite was a creamy filled pasty that to this day I’ve never found again. So as I started to plan for this segment I decided to try and recreate that sumptuous pastry I once enjoyed. I think I did it!

Burma Baklava

{I like this rolled Turkish version of Baklava, fun to make and easier to cut and serve. It’s also a little lighter on the nuts.}

You will need a length of 2/3″ dowel to create this pastry

• ½ cup butter, melted

• 1 pkg Filo Pastry

• 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice

• ¼ Cup thick honey

• ¼ Cup super fine sugar (or reg.)

• 1 Lemon Rind, finely grated

• 2 tsp. cinnamon

• 1 ¾” almonds, chopped

• 1 ¾” pecans or walnuts, chopped

• ¾” cup pistachios, chopped

Ricotta filling

• 1 ½” cups Ricotta

• ½ cup sugar

• 2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice


• 1 ¾ cups superfine sugar (or reg.)

• ½ cup honey

• 2 ½ cups water

• 2 strips of thinly pared lemon rind

Preheat oven to 325 F. Brush the bottom of a ½ sheet jellyroll pan (or 9×13 pan) with butter and set aside.

Make filling:

Chop your nuts in a food processor until coarsely ground. You can change-up the nuts if you need to. Use only one kind of nut, or switch out walnuts for pecans etc… Pistachios, however are very traditional for Baklava and if nothing else, have some to sprinkle on top.

Heat honey, sugar lemon juice and lemon rind in small pan just until sugar is dissolved. Pour over nuts and combine well.

Make Syrup:

Heat all ingredients in pan and bring to boil. Boil for 10 – 15 minutes. Set aside.

Make Ricotta filling:

Mix all ingredients well. Place into a freezer ziplock bag and refrigerate until ready to use. You can use a piping bag as well.

Step by Step Assembly:

Defrost Frozen Filo pastry a few hours before ready to assemble. If you’re defrosting earlier, keep in fridge until ready to use.

• Keep a clean dish towel sprayed lightly with cold water over pastry until ready to use.

• Melt butter in small pan and brush surface of first sheet with butter.

• Scoop a rounded ¼ cup with filling and spread over sheet, avoiding 1″ around edges.

Use one hand to spread filling, as it will get sticky. Keep other hand clean for rolling.

• Coat dowel with butter and place approx. 1″ from bottom edge. Roll up 2 sheets on dowel.

• Push each end of roll on dowel until it’s squished together.

• Push roll off onto buttered pan. Repeat until entire pan is filled.

• Cut rolls with a serated knife down the middle. Then cut 1″ from both sides.

To fill, carefully pick up each roll and find hole. You may need to push aside some pastry and nuts with a small knife.

• Snip off the end of ziplock bag with Ricotta filling.

• Push opening into hole and squeeze, filling roll. You will feel it fill. Place back on sheet and repeat with rest of rolls.

• Brush tops of roll with melted butter.

• Bake pan of rolls at 325 F. for approx. 45 mins, but keep an eye on them. Remove from oven when browned.

• Pour syrup all over rolls while still hot in the pan. Pour enough so there is syrup resting at bottom of pan. The Filo will absorb the syrup as it cools.

• Sprinkle tops with chopped pistachio nuts.

You can check out other projects by Sue Neal at

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