Friday, December 16, 2016

Mealtime Magic: Homemade Baklava

Kontos Foods, maker of artisan flatbreads and other ethnic foods, celebrates its Greek heritage with this Christmas staple: Homemade Baklava. This sweet pastry, constructed of layers of delicate Fillo dough, is packed with chopped nuts and glazed with cinnamon-and-clove scented syrup. Kontos Foods makes several varieties of premium Fillo Dough of varying thicknesses, and suggests using Fillo #5 for the Baklava because it’s tissue thin and crispy, and will bake into a beautiful golden hue. Not only can you start, or carry on a family tradition, but spend half the time making this with ready-made Fillo dough. You’ll achieve professional baking results in your very own kitchen!

Ingredients:

3 cups walnuts, shelled and finely chopped                            
1 cup almonds, shelled and finely chopped
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/3 cup sugar
2 pkgs. Kontos® Fillo #5 (approx. 28 pieces)
1/4 cup butter, melted

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a bowl. 

3. Center one Fillo sheet in a 9x13-inch pan, and brush with butter. 

4. Cover with another Fillo sheet and brush with butter. Repeat for 3 more sheets. 

5. Sprinkle 4-5 tablespoons of nut mixture over Fillo layers. 

6. Cover nut mixture with 2 sheets, individually buttered. 

7. Repeat Steps 5 & 6 until you have 3 sheets of Fillo remaining.

8. Layer and butter last 3 sheets on top. 

9. With a spatula or the back of a knife push overlapping Fillo sheets down the inside of the pan and under the buttered Fillo sheets. 

10. Butter the top Fillo sheet and score. Then bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. 
Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
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Syrup:


Ingredients:
2 cups sugar
3 cups water
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Rind of 1 lemon
3 cloves, whole
1 cinnamon stick, small

Directions:

1. Dissolve sugar in water and bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes. 

2. Add lemon juice, lemon rind, cloves, and cinnamon stick and boil for an additional 20 minutes. 

4. Strain and pour hot mixture over cooled Fillo and nut layers.  

5. Allow syrup to soak into Fillo then cut all the way through.


“Sure, Baklava takes a little time to make, but the finished dessert is so worth the effort,” said Steve Kontos, vice president and owner of Kontos Foods. “Not only does it taste great, the dessert is a rich part of our heritage—people have been making Baklava for centuries and Kontos’ tissue-thin Fillo dough enables modern, time-strapped families to continue this cherished tradition.”

Kontos sells its products to retailers and foodservice establishments across North America and around the world. Find Kontos Foods on Twitter @KontosFoods, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Kontosfoods and on Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.com/kontosfoods/.

About Kontos Foods
Founded in 1987, Kontos Foods, Inc. is a Paterson, New Jersey-based provider of traditional Mediterranean foods for restaurants, hotels, food service, retail specialty stores and supermarkets worldwide. The family-owned company specializes in hand-stretched flatbreads, including the Kontos Pocket-Less Pita®, Fillo dough, pastries, olives, gyro meats, and Greek yogurts, as well as nearly 50 varieties of multi-ethnic flatbreads. Kontos, which has over 225 employees and was founded by Evripides (Evris) Kontos with his son Steven, together bring over 100 years’ experience in the premium food industry. The company’s bread and Fillo products are made in the USA. Visit www.kontos.com or call (973) 278-2800.

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