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Appears in

Yashim Cooks Istanbul

Yashim Cooks Istanbul

By Jason Goodwin

Published 2016

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Probably no-one makes baklava quite like the guys at Karak[omul]y, who stack them in trays and scoop them up on a slice in serried rows, like regimented dormice, and use walnuts and pistachio and hazelnut and honey which oozes from the base. Which still, inexplicably, stays crisp. What – you prefer the little shop over in Balat? Really? Which just goes to show that it’s all a matter of taste.


  • olive oil 100 g/½ cup
  • filo sheets 250 g/8 oz
  • walnuts 225 g/7 oz, or a mixture of walnuts, pistachios and almonds, finely chopped
  • cinnamon 1 tsp, ground
  • butter 1 tbsp, melted
  • Earl Grey tea bag 1
  • honey 250 ml/1 cup
  • orange peel 1 tbsp
  • lemon ½


  • Oil the sides and base of a cake tin, round or square-edged.
  • Take a sheet of filo, lay it in the tin and push it to the edges. Brush with oil and don’t worry that the edges are flopping over the rim, because you can trim them up later.
  • Carry on layering and oiling the filo until you’ve used up half the sheets. Pour the nuts over the top oiled sheet and spread them evenly. Sprinkle with cinnamon and carry on with the filo layers until it’s all gone.
  • Trim the edges clean with a knife.
  • Butter the top layer, press it down with your fingers or a plate, and place in the fridge for an hour, to set.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut the slab into diamonds. Make parallel incisions about an inch apart, right through to the base.
  • Slide the pan into the oven, preheated to 160°C/325°F, and bake for about an hour, until the top is golden.
  • Melt the honey in a pan with the orange peel and half cup of Earl Grey tea. Turn the heat down, stir in the lemon juice and simmer for five minutes. Leave to cool.
  • Take out the baklava, pour the cool syrup over it, and allow it to cool.