Pistachio Baklava, Turkish dessert
3/4 cup unsalted pistachio nuts (finely chopped)
1/2 cup butter (melted), plus more for brushing phyllo
1 (16-ounce) package phyllo dough (thawed)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons lemon juice
How to make this Turkish delight:
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter a 15 by 10 by 1-inch baking pan. In a bowl, combine pistachio nuts and butter. Take eight sheets of phyllo dough and layer them in the pan, spreading each sheet with melted butter as you go. Spread about half of the nut mixture over the phyllo dough. Cover with a buttered sheet of phyllo dough. Layer five more sheets of phyllo dough, buttering each sheet as you layer. Add remaining nut mixture and layer with remaining sheets of phyllo dough, buttering each sheet. Using a knife, cut the baklava into 1 1/2-inch diamonds. Bake for 50 minutes or until golden brown. About 30 minutes before baklava is finished, combine sugar, honey, cinnamon, and lemon juice for glaze in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, making sure that the sugar is completely dissolved. Reduce heat and allow the mixture to simmer for 5 minutes. When baklava is finished cooking, drizzle syrup over top. Let cool. Serve and enjoy.
Harissa, Arabic Semolina Cake
3 cups semolina
3⁄4 cup unsweetened butter, melted
3⁄4 cup sugar
1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup plain yogurt
1⁄2 cup whole blanched almonds (to garnish) or 1/2 cup ground pistachio nut (to garnish)
4 cups sugar
3 cups water
1⁄2 small lemon, juice of (or equivalent citric acid)
How to make Harissa
Mix the semolina, the sugar and the butter in a large bowl. Use your hands to corporate the butter with the other ingredients until mixed well. Mix the yogurt and the baking soda in a separate bowl. Wait a few minutes until the yogurt doubles in size. When the yogurt has doubled (or almost)pour the yogurt mix on top of the semolina mix. Use your hands again to mix.
After you combined the two mixes, press the mix down on a small jelly roll pan or a 9x13 pyrex baking dish. (The cake mix should not be more than 1 inch thick. If it is baked in a bigger pan or take out the extra and bake it in a separate pan.).
Cut a diamond or square design in the cake with a butter knife.If using almonds, place one in each piece. Bake at 400 degrees for 30min to 45 mins until it's a bronze brown color.
Pour cold syrup on top while it's hot so it can absorb all through. If using ground pistachios sprinkle a little on top of each square.
FOR THE SYRUP:
Mix all the ingredients for the syrup and place in a saucepan on high until it boils. If using citric acid use only the tip of a teaspoon. Then reduce the heat to medium for 45 min to 1 hour until it coats a metal spoon.