Vegan Baklava

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This vegan baklava recipe shows you how to make the Greek classic with phyllo dough, agave nectar in place of honey, and not one but three types of nuts.

Vegan Baklava

Adapted from Robin Asbell | Sweet & Easy Vegan | Chronicle Books, 2012

This vegan baklava may not be the classical ideal extolled in Greece, but it’s spectacularly close. It relies on a modest amount of agave syrup rather than copious quantities of honey for sweetness. What ensues is less cloying yet still altogether worthy of the gods. We daresay you won’t be disappointed. Originally published December 11, 2013.Renee Schettler Rossi

Vegan Baklava

  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 2 H, 30 M
  • Makes 36 pieces

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar or Sucanat
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios
  • 3/4 cup raw almonds
  • 12 sheets phyllo dough, thawed overnight in the refrigerator
  • 1/2 cup light olive oil or melted coconut oil, plus more for the pan
  • 1 cup agave syrup (or, for a non-vegan version, honey)
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • Zest from 1 large lemon, preferably organic, removed in 1 long strip

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Oil a 13-by-9-inch baking pan.
  • 2. In a blender, blitz the brown sugar or Sucanat and cinnamon until finely ground and powdery. Transfer to a small bowl.
  • 3. In the blender or a food processor, pulse the walnuts until mostly finely chopped but still a bit chunky. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in 1/3 of the sugar mixture. Repeat with the pistachios and the almonds, dumping each type of nut in a separate bowl.
  • 4. Cover the phyllo sheets with a large piece plastic wrap, then cover that with a towel that’s barely damp. Remove 1 sheet and place it on a clean work surface. Brush half the phyllo sheet with olive or coconut oil. Fold the sheet in half and place it in the prepared pan, then brush the top with oil. Repeat with 2 more sheets. Scatter the walnuts over the phyllo in an even layer. Repeat the layering with 3 more sheets phyllo, the pistachios, 3 more phyllo sheets, and the almonds. Layer the last 3 phyllo sheets on top.
  • 5. Using a sharp paring knife, score the top layer of phyllo across the short side of the pan to form 6 strips. Next, score the phyllo diagonally from corner to corner, and then score parallel to that line 2 times on each side. (Or if that just completely confused you, just cut it into squares or triangles however you wish.) Bake for 40 minutes, until the phyllo is lightly golden and crisp.
  • 6. In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the agave syrup, water, and lemon zest and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Remove and discard the zest.
  • 7. Pour the syrup over the pastry. Cover the baklava with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. (You can refrigerate the baklava, tightly covered, for about 2 weeks.)

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