It’s a superb holiday that allows me and my family to indulge in our favorite Greek/Mediterranean delicacies. There is no lamb rotating on a spit in the front yard, but my family loves tradition and this dessert fits in perfectly!
I came across this recipe in Burlington, VT recently on a weekend jaunt away with my boyfriend. We went into Saratoga Olive Oil, which is an incredible store…lined from wall to wall with oils, vinegars, spice shakers, etc. I found the recipe card first and thought about Greek Easter. Once I tasted the blood orange olive oil, I knew I had found my calling for dessert. My mind was made up for me!
The olive oil will also be incredible in a vinaigrette later…can’t wait to use it again!!
I know this is a very specific kind of olive oil, but you can improvise at home. You can add orange extract or orange zest to regular olive oil. You could also infuse your own olive oil with blood orange pieces for a few days prior to creating this meal. Your call!! 🙂
Phyllo dough is a project unto itself and this was my first time using it. I know, I know….I’m a bad Greek. I don’t like olives, either. However, I’d bathe in olive oil. Go figure!! Working with phyllo takes a lot of patience….if you get frustrated easily, this may not be the right recipe for you!
This recipe puts an amazing spin on traditional baklava and incorporates the typical Greek favorites…honey, nuts, and citrus. And phyllo dough. And syrup. Perfect 🙂 🙂 It’s flaky, sweet, savory, and nutty all at once. It’ll be a hit wherever you take it!
Blood Orange Olive Oil Baklava
- 1 tbsp. Saratoga Olive Oil Co. blood orange olive oil
- 6 oz. blanched almonds
- 6 oz. roasted pistachios
- 6 oz. roasted walnuts
- 1/3 c. sugar
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tbsp. blood orange zest
- additional 1 c. SOOC blood orange olive oil
- 1 box frozen phyllo dough, brought to room temperature (you’ll need about 20 sheets, cut in half)
- 1 c. honey
- 1 c. water
- 1/2 c. fresh-squeezed blood orange juice (8 oranges)
- 1 c. sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 ribbon of zest from a blood orange
~ We are going to create this delight in a 9×13″ pan. Using a pastry brush, brush the bottom and sides of the pan with 1 tbsp. olive oil. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~ In a large food processor, pulse together the nuts, 1/3 c. sugar, 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon, 1 tsp. nutmeg and 1 tbsp. orange zest. You will have a wet and nutty meal. 🙂 Set aside.
~ Take your phyllo dough (which has been cut in half). Dampen some paper towels as these are instrumental to make sure the dough doesn’t dry out while you work. SO MUCH INVOLVED in this process!! Place 2 sheets of dough on bottom of the pan, brush with SOOC olive oil, top with 2 more sheets, brush with olive oil, and repeat. Keep doing this until you have a base layer that is 8 sheets of dough high.
~ Once your base is assembled, sprinkle about 3 tbsp. of the nut mixture onto the top sheet. Cover with 2 sheets of dough, brush with SOOC olive oil, and repeat. Repeat this entire process until all of the nuts are gone! **In between uses, make sure you cover the phyllo dough with the damp paper towels!!**
~ Once the nut mixture is layered into the baklava, create a top layer by layering 2 sheets of dough at a time, brushing in between with olive oil. You want your top layer to be about 8-10 sheets high.
~ Using a sharp knife, cut your baklava into either diamonds or squares. Diamonds are the more traditional shape. <3 they’re not the easiest, but they’re pretty! Make sure the knife cuts all the way to the bottom of the pan through all of the layers.
~ Once the baklava is cut into pieces, place the baking dish into the oven. Bake uncovered for 50-60 minutes. Keep an eye on it as the time winds down; you want it to be crispy but not burned!
~ While the baklava bakes, prepare your syrup. This is the good stuff. This is what makes this recipe shine….and how can it not?! In a saucepan, bring the water, blood orange juice, and sugar to a boil. Add in the honey, cinnamon stick, and orange zest ribbon. Reduce to a simmer.
~ Allow the syrup to simmer on low heat for about 25 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick and orange zest when you feel the syrup is a good consistency.
~ When the baklava is golden and crispy, remove from the oven. Immediately spoon the hot syrup over everything. Make sure you get each and every corner and crevice. Any of this syrup going to waste would be a shame!!! Don’t be alarmed by all of the bubbling sounds — totally normal.
~ Once the baklava is cooled, remove from the pan. Attempt not to binge on this stuff. It’s pretty lethal!! Thanks for the recipe, Saratoga Olive Oil! Enjoy!!! <3