Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Agave Rose Baklava with Pistachio & Macadamia Nuts

I am a huge agave fan. I make ice cream with it and use it in many of my daily foods from drizzling it over my morning spelt to adding it to everything from home made tomato sauce to tea.

Making baklava with agave is something I have wanted to do for awhile. I just kept changing my mind about the other flavors.   

I admit, part of my procrastination was one part intimidation and one part stubbornness. I had never worked with phyllo dough before so I was a little intimidated. But being the mule that I am, I also wanted to set aside enough time make my own phyllo dough. After some research, I realized I not only was I insane, didn't have the right tools (I mean who has what looks like a 10 foot long rolling pin lying around?), but I was also severely lacking in the expertise department as well. I caved and bought Greek phyllo dough from a local Turkish market here in our village. It's been sitting in my freezer taunting me every time I open the door.

Once I found this recipe on the Organic Trade Association's website, I got motivated and went on a journey through my drawer. I know you have one of those too. "The" drawer. Or maybe it's a corner of your pantry or kitchen cabinet. It's where all my weird flavorings and spices I've collected from my travels live. It's the magical place in your kitchen where you can put your hands on something and instantly go on a journey to an exotic place you may or may have not visited. It's also the place where you treasure hunt, turning up forgotten cool, precious and sometimes wacky food stuffs. 

I unearthed among the piles a sealed bag of dried rosebuds I bought in the Egyptian spice market in Istanbul. 

For the nuts I used my favorite, pistachios but also decided to try mixing in macadamias.

A couple of tips to add when making this recipe:

1-You need 12 sheets of phyllo which is exactly the amount that came in the roll I bought.  You will probably have to cut them to the size of your pan.

2- After fitting your phyllo dough to your pan, wrap half (6 sheets) back up in plastic right away. The dough dries out very fast, like in minutes.

Agave Rose Baklava With Pistachio
 & Macadamia Nuts
(Adapted from Rose Water Agave Baklava from www.organicitsworthit.org)

  • 1+1/4 cups agave syrup
  • 1/2 cup pure water
  • 10 dried edible rosebuds (I wanted a strong flavor so I upped the original amount of 3)
  • 2 tablespoons shredded coconut
  • 12 Sheets phyllo dough
  • 1 stick of melted butter
  • 2 cups ground nuts (I used 1 cup pistachios and 1 cup macademias but you can get as creative as you want here)

  • Heat up the agave syrup, water, rosebuds and coconut in a saucepan. When it starts to boil, take it off the heat, cover and let cool and steep for at least an hour.
  • Throw the nuts into a food processor or blender and grind them.

  • Cut your phyllo dough to your pan size.  Take 6 sheets, wrap in plastic and put aside.
  • Grease the pan thoroughly.
  • Lay one sheet of phyllo down and using a pastry brush, coat the entire piece with butter.  Lay the next one down until you have used up all 6 sheets, ending with the butter on top.

  • Spread out the nuts on the phyllo, unwrap the rest of the dough and lay the 7th sheet  on top.

  • Slather the sheet with butter and repeat until all sheets are used up.
  • Then cut the sheets up into any shape you wish, squares, rectangles.  I made traditional triangles.

  • Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until the phyllo is golden brown on top.
  • When it's just out of the oven, pour the agave mixture over the top and let cool.  The original recipe says to strain out the rosebuds but I like the way they look on top.


  1. What a gorgeous color! I have never made baklava. Sounds like a fun project.

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  3. This looks absolutely beautiful! I need to try this sometime :) ugh!


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