Appalachian Appetites

International Inspiration, Local Ingredients

Baklava! March 21, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ann @ Appalachian Appetites @ 7:43 am
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I had the honor of being invited earlier in the week to lunch at my grandmother’s college roommate’s house.  Sarah had Nathan and I over for lunch in Asheville and we had a great time!  I told her all about my blog and she gave me some local honey as a contribution for the posts 😉  I keep finding that the best way to discover local food in your area is to ask the locals!  Easy, huh?  Sarah recommended lots of restaurants and stores and of course this honey:

Even Asher was excited!

I looked up Sourwood honey online and found this out about the tree:

“The Sourwood tree (Oxydendrum Arboreum) is also called Lily of the Valley tree, growing 40 to 60 feet tall with a diameter of one foot. The leaves are oblong, pointed at the apex, and have a sour taste. Flowers are white bell-shaped and hang in clusters 5-6 inches long at the end of the branches. Sourwood is most abundant in the mountains of North Georgia and Western North Carolina. The Sourwood tree blooms in late June through the month of July, during a period when few other flowers are blooming.” 

 And this about the HONEY: “Sourwood honey is extra-light to light amber color and extremely aromatic, with a distinctive rich honey flavor. In local markets it commands a premium price. When it comes to quality and taste, no other honey can match Sourwood Honey.”  I’m not sure I would have splurged on the honey so I am really thankful for the gift and the opportunity to cook with it! 

So of course I had to find a recipe that made honey the star and I chose none other than BAKLAVA!!  I love baklava!  Whenever it is offered at a bakery or cafe, I find myself instantly drawn to it and usually buying it.  But I have never made it.  So yesterday afternoon, I gave it a try.  I found this easy recipe with these few ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough
  • 2 cups chopped pecans (had the local ones in my freezer)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons whole cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick (used ground cinnamon)
  • 1 cup honey (SOURWOOD!)
  • I started with the pastry, butter,  pecans, and cloves…

    And got here…

    And finally here…

    While it cooked for 45 min. at 350 degrees, I started making the honey topping.

    Once the pastry was done, the hot mixture was poured over it:

    And then it cooled and was cut.  It was a bit too syrupy and I mainly blame that on myself.  I should have judged better and not poured the whole mixture over the pastry.  However, it cut beautifully and tastes great!  It really truly does taste like REAL bakalava.  I don’t think this is too bad for my first try.  And Nathan didn’t complain either 😉

    Love the trees peeking in


    3 Responses to “Baklava!”

    1. Jenny Says:

      I love baklava! Such a delicious treat:) And the trees creeping up in the picture:)

    2. momgateway Says:

      I learned to make baklava years ago from my mom so this post brings back a flood of memories. Thanks. BTW, I’m doing a giveaway too if you or any of your readers are interested.

    3. […] When you wake up…TA-DA!  Perfectly “cooked” oats.   Then you just add the toppings you want.  I used my local sourwood honey too! […]

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