I am so fortunate as I meet many nice people. Here in Dallas I meet many nice Russian ladies and some of them came from the Central Asian countries like myself. Growing up there we share very similar tastes in food, traditions and hospitality. Last week we were invited to our friends Uzbek party. We were assigned to bring any dish which will represent the country that we came from. I made my Tzadziki flat bread and for dessert I decided to make Baklava. Even though Baklava is not a very common sweet in Tajikistan, it is considered to be Central Asia sweet bread. I decided to make it the Armenian way which is not as sweet as a most Baklava and the main ingredient in Armenian baklava are walnuts, lots of them:-), what I specially like.
Everybody at the party are really enjoyed my Baklava and I decided to share this recipe with you.
• 3 cups walnuts
• 4 egg whites
• 2 cups of sugar
• some honey for drizzling
• 1 egg yolk for glossy finish
1 teaspoon cinnamon(optional)
- • about 30 whole walnuts for decoration
In large mixing bowl mix flour with baking soda. Then shred butter into flour and with two hands mix butter with the flour until it forms small crumbles.
Add egg yolks and sour cream, dump it into working place and start mixing it together with your hands until it sticks together and forms the ball. Cover your dough with plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare the filling. Pour 3 cups of walnuts into blander and bland it until it turns into paste like substance. In standing mixer or using hand mixer beat egg whites until they form a foam. Gradually start adding the sugar and mix it well until just white in color. Add some cinnamon if desire. You do not need to mix it to meringue like condition. Add egg whites into walnut paste and mix it well. Put it aside.
Bring the dough from the refrigerator and divide it into 3 equal pieces.
Dust some flour on your working surface and roll piece of the dough paper thin rectangular shaped. Place dough into baking sheet. Divide the walnut filling into two parts and place one part over the dough, using spatula spread it evenly over the dough until all of it covered with the filling. Roll another piece of the dough and place it over the filling then roll the third piece and place it on top.
Whisk egg yolk with the teaspoon of water and then brush the top crust with this yolk to bring a glossy finish to the baklava. Using knife slice Baklava into diamond shaped squares as shown below.
Place whole halves of walnut on each piece.
Bake your Baklava at 350F for 25 minutes then take it out drizzle about 5 tablespoons of honey on top and bake it for another 10 minutes until nice and golden in color.
Let the Baklava cool down completely and it is ready to serve.
It can be stored refrigerated in airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy!