A Little History of Round Pistachio Baklava
When I was a little girl, my mother brought me a special dessert. It was baklava, and I loved it. It wasn’t until I was a lot older and moved to a community that had a large Armenian population that I learned that there were a lot of varieties of the venerable dessert. The history of this pastry is long and contested – some say it originated in Ancient Rome citing a recipe from Cato the Elder in 160 BC, some say the Romans stole the recipe from the Greeks, and Byzantine Turks say it was already theirs – Wikipedia Baklava.
I had no idea how the dessert was made, and when I found out it was made with Filo dough, I thought it being so gossamer that I would never be able to handle it. Of course, I was also convinced that I was unable to make decent rice, and frying completely perplexed me.
I have lately been watching YouTube and found the Heghineh Cooking Show. She demonstrates all kinds of good Armenian food, and one day, it was a round baklava with pistachios. The way she did it, and explained it, I thought, you know what, I can do that! I have already conquered rice and mastered frying, so why not Filo, too? I decided to make it for a small dinner party because I was getting kind of tired of cakes or fruit.
Working with Filo
If you have already worked with filo dough, then this recipe should be a breeze for you. If not, and you need to see the method of making these luscious pastries, then head on over to the YouTube video by Heghineh. Please note that you will probably not use the entire roll of dough, some might stick together too much, or get too torn to work with. I would say I lost about 6 sheets.
There are a couple of things I did differently. I used Cortas Rose Syrup that I buy at Armenian stores or at Amazon (it makes a fine cocktail with vodka over ice), and I used True Orange that you can also get at Amazon. I also messed up with the first baklava and forgot to squeeze them together, so I ate those.