Pistachio And Orange Baklava Recipe

Baklava, the classic, flaky, and sticky-sweet dessert made with sheets of phyllo dough, can be made a in variety of ways. Whether you're in Turkey, Greece, or within the Middle East, each culture has their own take on the signature sliceable pastry. Most mainstream recipes that we see today will always have the following components: phyllo dough, nuts, butter, and a sugar syrup.

Melted butter is brushed between sheets to seal the layers of phyllo together. Crushed nuts are sprinkled over the top, whether they're ground pistachios like we'll use in this recipe from developer Alexander Roberts or more traditional walnuts. Once the baklava layering process is complete, it gets scored into diamonds and goes into the oven for 45 minutes. After the bake, a simmered simple syrup (usually containing honey) will be poured over the pastry. Served warm, the sticky and flaky layers of baklava come together to make a comforting dessert like no other.

Grab the ingredients for pistachio and orange baklava

Flaky layered pastries can be intimidating, but the phyllo dough in this recipe is going to do all the work for you! This delicious dessert can be prepared using less than 10 ingredients. They can all be found in most grocery stores — look for phyllo dough in the freezer aisle.

In addition to phyllo dough, you'll need at least 3 cups of pistachios (roasted and salted are best here), along with 2 sticks of unsalted butter. We'll add some cinnamon for a warm spice note, and use both orange zest and orange blossom water to brighten the sweetness of the baklava. For the simple syrup, we'll use white granulated sugar, honey, and water.

Step 1: Preheat the oven

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Step 2: Grease the baking dish

Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.

Step 3: Grind the pistachios

Add the pistachios and cinnamon to a food processor. Pulse until pistachios are finely chopped.

Step 4: Begin layering the phyllo dough

Add 2 sheets of phyllo to the baking dish.

Step 5: Brush the phyllo with butter

Brush evenly with some of the butter.

Step 6: Sprinkle the pistachios on top

Add an even sprinkling of chopped pistachios.

Step 7: Repeat the layering process

Repeat the layering: 2 sheets of phyllo, then butter, then nuts.

Step 8: Finish constructing

Top with 2 sheets of phyllo and brush with butter.

Step 9: Score the diamond pattern

To create a diamond pattern, first slice 6 columns lengthwise, cutting through the entire pastry.

Step 10: Finish cutting the diamonds

Cut 10 diagonals across the baklava, again cutting through the pastry.

Step 11: Bake the baklava

Bake for 45–50 minutes, until the top is light brown and phyllo is slightly pulling away from edges.

Step 12: Make the syrup

While the baklava bakes, zest and juice the orange into a small pot. Add the sugar, water, honey, and orange blossom water.

Step 13: Simmer the syrup

Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Step 14: Pour the syrup over the baklava

Pour the warm syrup over the hot baklava in two additions, allowing the first half of the syrup to soak in before adding the rest.

Step 15: Serve

Slice and serve warm.

Can I make pistachio and orange baklava ahead of time? How can I store baklava?

Since baklava takes a bit of time to prepare and bake, you may be wondering if it can be made ahead of time. The answer is yes! Not only is it totally fine to make it in advance, but it's actually better as it allows more time for the flavors to meld together and for the phyllo dough to become moist. It can be served the moment it's done or the next day when the flavors are married a bit more. You could technically assemble the baklava up to step 10 and leave it in the fridge until you're ready to bake it. 

 Roberts suggests baking it fully up to 2 days in advance. "There's so much syrup and butter that it really won't be adversely affected," he says. "Taste with intention and note how the flavor changes — or even improves — each day." Leave it wrapped in plastic at room temperature. If you'd like to warm it up again, place it in the oven at 350 F for about 15 minutes.

What is phyllo dough? Are there any substitutes for making pistachio and orange baklava?

Phyllo dough is the main ingredient of baklava, but what exactly is it in the first place? Similar to puff pastry, it is sheets and sheets of dough thinly layered together. Puff pastry, however, contains much more butter, making it closer to pie dough. Phyllo sheets are so thin they are basically paper! To create phyllo, an unleavened dough is made with flour, water, and a little oil. It's extremely laborious to create by hand, though, which is why we advise taking the easy route and purchasing a frozen box at the grocery store.

Given phyllo dough's unique nature, there is no substitute when making baklava. Puff pastry could provide a similar result, but you would only want to use 2 sheets of dough and follow the baking instructions listed on the package. "Phyllo is the type of product that's so unique you can't really sub it out for anything else," says Roberts. "Find it at a specialty grocer or order online, if possible. It truly makes or breaks the dish." 

Pistachio And Orange Baklava Recipe
4.9 from 33 ratings
This recipe for baklava balances nutty and citrusy flavors, and we use frozen phyllo to offset the labor often required when crafting this delectable dessert.
Prep Time
20
minutes
Cook Time
50
minutes
Servings
12
servings
baklava with syrup on top in baking dish
Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Ingredients
  • 3 cups pistachios
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (1-pound) package phyllo dough, defrosted
  • 8 ounces butter, melted
  • 1 orange
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.
  3. Add the pistachios and cinnamon to a food processor. Pulse until pistachios are finely chopped.
  4. Add 2 sheets of phyllo to the baking dish.
  5. Brush evenly with some of the butter.
  6. Add an even sprinkling of chopped pistachios.
  7. Repeat the layering: 2 sheets of phyllo, then butter, then nuts.
  8. Top with 2 sheets of phyllo and brush with butter.
  9. To create a diamond pattern, first slice 6 columns lengthwise, cutting through the entire pastry.
  10. Cut 10 diagonals across the baklava, again cutting through the pastry.
  11. Bake for 45–50 minutes, until the top is light brown and phyllo is slightly pulling away from edges.
  12. While the baklava bakes, zest and juice the orange into a small pot. Add the sugar, water, honey, and orange blossom water.
  13. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  14. Pour the warm syrup over the hot baklava in two additions, allowing the first half of the syrup to soak in before adding the rest.
  15. Slice and serve warm.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 503
Total Fat 31.5 g
Saturated Fat 11.9 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 40.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 50.0 g
Dietary Fiber 4.4 g
Total Sugars 23.7 g
Sodium 186.1 mg
Protein 9.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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