Baklava – Making Syrup

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 37,940
    Chef Amy Riolo demonstrates how to make syrup for the baklava.

    Amy Riolo: Hi! I am Amy Riolo and today we are making Almond Baklava. First, I am going to show you how to make the syrup for the Almond Baklava. The first thing that we will need to add is a cup and a half of sugar, then we will need to add juice of an orange, a few pieces of orange peel. If you prefer you could use lemon and then we are going to add a cup of water and we are going to heat these on medium heat and we will stir and bring this mixture to a boil and this is just going to melt every thing and to incorporate all of the ingredients easily. This is a wonderful simple syrup that you can use. You can keep it on hand and use it for drinks or for other sweets that you would like to pour it over. It's wonderful on pancakes and as I mentioned you can change it with other kinds of fruit or other kinds of citrus, but I really like the fresh orange taste with the Baklava.

    One of the things that I suggest to people whenever they are making Baklava or any kind of Middle Eastern or Mediterranean dessert that uses a syrup, is that you can make the syrup in advance and cool it down and then keep it in your refrigerator for maybe up to a month and then you will have that on hand. So that whenever you are going to make the Baklava all you have to do is assemble it and not to worry about the syrup. It's always good to serve cool syrup on top of hot Baklava and that really allows the flavors to blend and it allows the texture of the Baklava to be the way that it should be, so there is no problem in making it in advance. It's actually advisable and if you were to walk into a bakery in Greece or in anywhere in the Mediterranean or the Middle East, you would find a big-big large bin of this kind of syrup, just ready waiting and then whenever the sweets were being made people could very quickly dip a ladle into it and pour it right over the top of the dessert that they are making.

    So we are just going to allow this to cook for a minute. We really want to get the mixture to come up to a boil and as soon as the sugar dissolves that's about the same time that it comes up to a boil, as soon that happens, we are going to turn it down to low and we are going to let it simmer. You don't want to stir once the mixture comes to a boil because if you do stir after that point, what will happen is the sugar will start to crystallize and then it will ruin your syrup. So it's a very simple technique, but you just want to remember stop stirring once it boils.

    And mine recipes are little bit heavy on the orange juice, sometimes people put a teaspoon in or a tablespoon and I have got the juice of an entire orange because I really like the juice flavor and rather for my syrup to be more citrussy and less sugary, but if you like more sugar and less citrus you can always bring the quantity down a little bit and that will be fine. And now we are certainly see some boiling around the edges of our pot and as soon as that happens we know we can stop stirring and what I am going to do is I am going to turn this fire down to low and we are just going to let it be for about 10 or 15 minutes. This is the way candid orange peel looks and this the way your little orange peel are going to look when your syrup is ready.

    So if the orange peel don't look like this in your syrup, let it simmer for little while longer, but if they do you are ready, just take it off the fire and let it sit until you are ready with you Baklava and when we come back, we are going to make our almond filling for our Baklava.