Monday, January 14, 2008

More About Baklava

A short post to answer the questions...

Marie Grace, they used the recipe in the Joy of Cooking, omitting the lemon and orange zest. They were entirely self-motivated. Owen is definitely turning into a Serious Foodie (is that redundant?) so I expect he'll be making a lot more goodies as time goes on. As a toddler (!) and pre-schooler, he loved (really loved!) watching cooking shows on PBS. No kidding. A born foodie. His next ambition is to make marzipan from scratch. But we don't currently own a full-size food processor, just a mini-chopper, so he's thwarted in that plan for now.

Bezzie, they did not make the phyllo from scratch, but Owen has also expressed an interest in trying that. I think one needs pretty heavy machinery to roll the pastry layers that thin. And way better humidity control than we have.

For all of you who never tried making it, I say, don't be afraid. My husband has done it several times over the years. The first time ever, I explained to him the thing about buttering every layer and he misunderstood. He took a stack of several sheets for the bottom layer and buttered it, put in filling, a top layer (also many sheet thick), and buttered that. D'oh! We had a good laugh about it after, when I told him he really did need to peel every thin sheet and butter it.

My sister used to be the Queen of Baklava when she was in high school. I've made a number of phyllo-based main dishes, like spanokopita, and the main trick is to have your stuff all ready so you can work quickly and not let the pastry dry out. Keep the pastry between two layers of plastic wrap with a damp dishtowel laid on top.

Dale, I'm sorry to report that it will be long gone by Friday, except for the part that takes up residence on my derriere.

6 comments:

Carol said...

ahhh, a baker who shares our humidity pain! Seems your guys have the issue well in control.

MarieGrace said...

"Joy of Cooking"?...Paaa!

How 'bout the "Joy of Eating"? Would be more my speed :-)

Bezzie said...

Hee! I love that he wants to tackle phyllo on his own. That's awesome. It's like the mother of all crusts!

dale-harriet said...

{laughing} Well, truth to tell, Elizabeth - even *thinking* about baklava applies some of it to MY derriere, so we'll have to share. I haven't tried any such delicacies, but gee, maybe I'll consider it! (The truth is - Mr Dearling's the more adventurous cook in this circus.)

MollyBeees said...

YUM! Owen, you can come to my house and bake anytime! In return, I will make your brownies from a box-my speciality!

Batty said...

You may have a chef in the making in your household! If I ever hear of someone opening a restaurant called The Serious Foodie, I'll go in and ask if the owner's mom knits.