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Food and travel captivate Janet Podolak, who chronicles both for The News-Herald. Get the back story of her three decades of stories here. Guest bloggers and fellow News-Herald staffers also periodically share details of their trips.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

baklava in Superman's Cleveland

That's Martha Manning with a tasty triangle of baklava, the sweet honey and walnut pastry given to everyone who visited Athens Bakery on a recent Cleveland ethnic and history tour. The other photo is the downtown Cleveland building used as the model for the Daily Planet, by the creators of Superman. They were among the Cleveland natives we learned about on the trip.
That building photo, shot through a bus window, was not of good enough quality to be used with the story I wrote about the tour, which was rich in nostalgia for everyone. It's Sunday's Community feature in The News-Herald, where I also promised the recipe for the baklava. I hope you catch the story . Here's the baklava recipe.

(80 to 8 small pieces)
1-1/2 pounds walnuts, chopped
1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
40 sheets Athens filo dough (9 x 14 inches) thawed
1 cup butter melted
Combine walnuts, sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Brush 12 by 16 inceh baking pan with butter. Overlap 8 sheets on bottom of pan, buttering each sheet as you place in the pan, covering the bottom. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the walnut mixture. Overlap 8 more buttered filo sheets on top. Spread 1/3 additional walnut mixture over the filo. Overlap with another 8 buttered filo sheets and the remaining walnut mixture. Finish baklava by overlapping the remaining 16 sheets, buttering the sheets as you fit them in the pan. With sharp knife, score filo ino 1-1/2 inch diamonds or squares. Brush with remaining butter. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until golden brown. Cool slightly and pour warm syrup (recipe below) evenly over baklava. Cool completely, cut and serve.

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 cup honey
1 lemon peel
Bring all ingredients to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and cool slightly.

General filo handling instructions
Allow filo dough to thaw in refrigerator overnight. Bring to room temperature before using.
Carefully unroll fill sheets onto smooth, dry surface.
Cover filo completely with plastic wrap, hen a damp towel.
Keep filo covered until needed. Do not leave uncovered for more than one minute to prevent drying out.
Microwave butterunitl melted. Brush each filo layer with melted butter
To preven edges from cracking, brush edges first and work toward center.
Be sure to bursh last layer of filo with melted butter.
Fillings should be chilled and not excessively moist
Filo may be rolled and refrozen to store when not in use.


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