Nothing held my mom back in the kitchen and this Baklava was one of the most delicious, memorable treats she made for our family! Layered with filo, nuts and an orange flower water flavored syrup, it’s unforgettable!
My Mom’s Baklava
I was blessed to spend most of my childhood in a small, Midwest university town. Basically, Ames, Iowa, was in the middle of nowhere, but the college brought many benefits. We’d attend the symphony, theater and football games. So what if all the key players were university students! My parents became friends with folks from all over the world and with that, we were exposed to new cuisines. After chatting with my Greek friend, Eleni, I learned that baklavas can vary depending on the family and area it is made. Many have honey, cloves, cinnamon and bread crumbs. Mine is lacking all, but she did reassure me that sugar syrup and orange blossom water were also traditional. I will try adding some breadcrumbs and cinnamon to my next filling.
Down the street lived the Adamantios family, and Marcia and my mom became fast friends. Through this friendship, my mom acquired recipes for Greek lemon soup, moussaka, and, our favorite, baklava. Thanks to an international grocery store on campus, we had access to filo dough, quite exotic for Iowa in the 1970’s! I remember painting melted butter over the thin, fragile pastry sheets with my mom at my side. No other baklava tastes as wonderful as this version made with love by my mother.
Mom’s Favorite Recipes from the Sunday Supper Crew
As we approach Mother’s Day, we’re reflecting on special dishes that remind us of our moms.
Starters (Appetizers, Beverages, Breakfast):
- Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal by Cooking With Carlee
- Frozen Pina Colada by The Redhead Baker
- Goats Cheese Rolls with Honey and Thyme by Manu’s Menu
- Mom’s Banana Bread by Family Around the Table
- Mom’s Famous Poppy Seed Bread With A Citrus Glaze by And She Cooks
- Mom’s Wine Spritzer by Momma’s Meals
Salads, Side Dishes, and Sauces:
- Asiago Bruschetta Roasted Asparagus by Flavor Mosaic
- Italian Country Salad by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Mom’s Cucumbers in Vinegar by Simple And Savory
- Mom’s Homemade Perogies by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Mom’s Potato Salad by Palatable Pastime
- Polish Haluski (Pan Fried Noodles & Sauerkraut) by The Crumby Cupcake
- Spinach Salad with Simple Vinaigrette by Cooking Chat
- Zippy Barbecue Sauce by Amee’s Savory Dish
- Chicken and Egg Salad Sandwich by The Freshman Cook
- Grilled Chicken with Poblano Cream Sauce by Casa de Crews
- Fried Smelt by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Granny Smith’s Meatloaf by Get the Good Stuff!
- Jean’s Best Vegetable Soup by Food Lust People Love
- Lemon & Garlic Herbed Roasted Chicken by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Mama’s Favorite Southern Fried Chicken by The Chef Next Door
- Mom’s Cheese & Onion Enchiladas by The TipToe Fairy
- Mom’s Lentil Toastadas by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Mom’s Moussaka by My Life Cookbook
- Shirley’s Potato Soup by Our Good Life
- Mom’s Spare Ribs To Go by An Italian in my Kitchen
- Mom’s Sukiyaki: Japanese Beef and Vegetables Hot Pot by Asian In America
- Myra’s Super Supper by Tramplingrose
- Pizza Meatloaf by A Mind Full Mom
- Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls by Cookin’ Mimi
- Apple Bread Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Apple Crisp by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Brown Sugar Pudding by Un Assaggio of Food, Wine & Marriage
- Butter Balls by Feeding and More
- Carrot Cream Cheese Coffee Cake by Pies and Plots
- Chocolate Cherry Truffle Cheesecake by What Smells So Good?
- Crustless Pecan Pie Rice Pudding by Desserts Required
- Double Layer Chocolate Cake with Red Wine Chocolate Buttercream by Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
- Easy Classic Date Squares by She Loves Biscotti
- Gluten Free Strawberry Rhubarb Cake by What The Fork Food Blog
- Gretchen’s Baklava by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Homemade Chocolate Cherry Candies by Gluten Free Crumbley
- Hungarian Crepes: Palacsinta by My Gourmet Connection
- Lemon Cookies with White Chocolate and Mint by The Finer Cookie
- Lemon Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze and Roasted Strawberries by Turnips 2 Tangerines
- Mom’s Apple Pie by Wholistic Woman
- Mom’s Famous White Icing by Monica’s Table
- Moms Mayonnaise Cake by My World Simplified
- Pavlova with Raspberries and Cream by Caroline’s Cooking
- Rocky Road Brownie Sundae for Mom by The Weekend Gourmet
- Rose Shortbread Cookies by Baking Sense
- Sour Cream Cheesecake by Magnolia Days
Plus What Mom Really Wants for Mother’s Day plus Mom’s Favorite from Sunday Supper Movement
You May Need:
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon orange blossom water
- 1 pound filo dough
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 6-8 ounces chopped walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Make syrup by dissolving sugar in water and simmer till thick enough to coat a spoon, then add lemon and orange blossom water and simmer 2 more minutes. Cool to room temperature in the refrigerator.
- Brush a 9 x 13 pan with butter. Place half of filo in the pan, one sheet at a time, brushing each layer with butter. Keep the filo covered with a damp towel while brushing the layers to prevent it from drying out. Don't worry if it tears, though, it will still look and taste fine. Mix nuts and sugar and spread over the filo layers. Cover with remaining filo, brushing each layer with butter as before.
- Cut diagonally into lozenge shapes. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes, then increase temperature to 450º for 15 minutes or less till puffed and golden.
- Remove from oven and quickly pour cold syrup over baklava. Cool.
More Recipes You’ll Love:
- Cardamom Pistachio Baklava from Foodie with Family
- Millionaire Brownies from What a Girl Eats
- Pecan Tassies from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Double Chocolate Nutella Toffee Skillet Brownie from Country Cleaver
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