I have to admit I have not yet been to Bulgaria. I have a long list of places I want to visit and after my friend had a lovely holiday to Bulgaria a year ago it went onto my list. When Expedia asked me if I would like to take part in their world on a plate challenge, I was eager to take part. I asked my friend what type of food she had eaten there and she said that she had had an array of international food. So I turned to Google and was pretty surprised with the results. Mousakka, baklava and stuffed vine leaves were all suggested dishes. Bulgarian cusine is influenced by it's neighbours Greece and Turkey so shares some of my favourite dishes which I would usually associate with counties close to it.
Baklava is a super sweet (read highly calorific) but extremely tasting nutty dessert. I chose to use a mixture of pistachios and walnuts in my recipe.
You will need:
1 packet of filo pastry (12 sheets)
75g melted butter
For the syrup
juice of half a lemon
Pre heat the oven to 180C.
Melt the butter in the microwave and grease a baking tin (I used 6in x 6in)
Place 3 sheets of filo on into the tin, brushing each with melted butter.
Finely chop the walnuts and pistachio. Mix with the sugar and cinnamon.
Put half of this mixture on the filo pastry. Add 2 more sheets of filo, brushing each with butter.
Add another layer of nut and add the remaining layers of filo pastry and butter.
Cut diamond shapes into the pie. Bake for 20 minutes and then turn the heat down to 150C and bake for a further 20 minutes.
Make the syrup by heating the water, lemon juice and sugar together. Reduce until it forms a syrup. Pour this over the scored lines in the Baklava so that in soaks on.
If you have some left over pistachios, finely chop a few to sprinkle on top.
Once cooled, enjoy a small slice or two. It tastes great with a strong coffee!
Have you visited Bulgaria? What was your favourite dish?
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