This recipe for baklava is not a vegan version. It’s an Authentic Vegan Baklava! Many Assyrians fast from animal products for a large part of the year. We substitute extra virgin olive oils for clarified butter during certain months, such as Advent, Lent, and other fasting days. This is how we have made baklava since the beginning of time for vegans.
Extra virgin olive oil is more buttery tasting than butter. While clarified Butter may not be as difficult to maintain as you might think, nothing is easier than opening an olive oil bottle. My baklava has become more vegan in recent years!
What Makes This Vegan Baklava So Easy?
1) SLICE AND POUR EACH LAYER INSTEAD OF BRUSHING IT INDIVIDUALLY.
It’s the way my grandmother makes her baklava, and it always turns out perfect. Simply stack, slice, and pour. It becomes super flaky, rich, and rich because the olive oil seeps through each layer. You can see the technique in action by watching the video or following the recipe.
Just pop open a bottle of olive oil! Open the bottle, pour, and measure! Clarifying butter (or vegan substitute butter) is not necessary.
3) USE A FOOD COOKER TO CUT THE NUTS.
If my grandmother sees this, I will be embarrassed. But here is my secret: use a food processor to cut everything. Be careful not to turn the walnuts into butter. Stop pulverizing the walnuts once they are finely chopped. The pistachios should be done first. Remove them from the food processor, and put them aside to use later. Next, add the walnuts without washing the processor between them.
4) START WITH THE RIGHT PROPORTIONS FOR A FAIL-PROOF SYRUP.
You can make the perfect simple syrup by using a candy thermometer. Start with the right amount of water and sugar, boil until the sugar dissolves, and continue to simmer it for a few minutes, with the lid still on, to prevent the formation of crystals.
If you don’t use a thermometer, you will get a variety of consistencys if you boil the excess water for a set number of minutes. The amount of water that boils off will depend on the size of your pan. It’s difficult to tell if it’s at the right consistency when it’s simmering unless you are a pro.
This recipe is the best way to get the perfect syrup consistency. It uses just the right amount of water and sugar. Make sure to not let the syrup boil unattended, as it will turn into hard candy.
This syrup may crystallize as it cools. It will not affect the final product. It’s a result of cooking the syrup down with more water than it should have been. This is not a problem, as long as you use a candy thermometer. In contrast, if you see crystallization as the syrup is cooking, this is because some sugar has stuck to the pot’s side and fallen back into it. This is a common mistake when making syrup. If that happens, you’ll need to start again, as the syrup will probably not be pourable.
Authentic Vegan Baklava
- 1 Food Cooker To cut the nuts
- 2 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar 500g
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1 cup Water
- tbsp Rosewater 15g
- 16 oz Unopened container of filo dough sheets 455g
- 16 oz Walnuts
- 2 tsp Cardamom ground
- 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 g Ground cloves Half a teaspoon
- 1 cup Extra virgin olive oil in 210g Add more for frying