Alex Ibrahim, one of the vendors at the Desserts of the World Festival in Ottawa on Thursday, is sharing his mother's recipe for baklava with All in a Day guest host Stu Mills in honour of Mother's Day this Sunday.
Ibrahim's parents moved to Canada in the 1970s and opened a small grocery store, where they made pitas in the back room. They've moved several times and now have a grocery store that does food and catering.
Ibrahim took over the family business, Boulangerie Beirut in Gatineau, when his parents retired.
- 1 1lb box of phyllo dough (approx. 20 sheets)
- Butter (or vegetable ghee), slightly melted
- 1 ½ cup ground raw cashews
- 2 cups of sugar syrup (approx. 1:2 sugar:water ratio, melt sugar in boiling water)
- Orange blossom
- Ground raw pistachios
- Place a baking sheet on a 15” x 21” pan. Spread slightly melted butter on baking sheet.
- Place and butter each individual phyllo dough sheet. Use approximately half of the sheets.
- Spread the slightly ground raw cashews to cover the entire area of the phyllo sheets.
- Place and butter the remaining phyllo sheets squarely on top of the cashews.
- Cut the size and shape you wish to have the baklavas (triangular or square).
- Bake in the oven at 400⁰F (preferably in a convection oven to allow for more even cooking) for about 20-30 minutes.
- When the baklavas start to brown, remove from the oven and pour the sugar syrup to cover the entire pan. Allow to soak for a few minutes and return to oven until baklavas are brown and crisp.
- Remove from the oven and, using a spray bottle, mist orange blossom on the baklavas for aroma.
- Top off with ground raw pistachios for presentation.