Orange and Cardamon Baklava


Silvena Rowes’ Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume is one of those cookbooks you instantly want to cook everything from everything is so bright and colourful.For my intensely savory leanings it’s unusual that the first dish I managed to cook from it was a supersweet Baklava as a made ahead dessert.

I have always liked baklava a sweet pastry delicious with  refreshing mint tea in Turkey. I always thought Baklava would be really hard to make

I loved the idea of this Orange Baklava ,  using whole pureed oranges reminiscent of Clementine and Almond Cake by Nigella Lawson .

I made a few substitutions, the recipe called for Orange Flower Water but I didn’t have any instead I opted to boil the oranges in the syrup to add orange infusion and a few split cardamon pods.

The baklava was sweet and crispy at the edges, oozing sweet syrup  but with a  moist citrus bitter centre. Served with sharp greek yogurt , and some fresh fruit.

I want to try making this again with some other fruit, perhaps lemons? Definitely a dish to add to the repertoire and a world away from the sawdusty shop-bought stuff.


Orange and Cardamon Baklava

350g caster sugar
1 tbsp orange juice
500ml water
3 cardamon pods

3 medium thin skinned oranges , sevile – navel ( this is about 150g)
seeds of 1 vanilla pod , 1tsp of vanilla paste
1 tbsp orange marmalade
400g packet of filo pastry (12 sheets)-
150g of butter melted

  1. Place the sugar, orange juice, oranges cardamon and water in a saucepan and gently bring to the boil
  2. Simmer to reduce for 30 minutes, the fruit will soften and the liquid will reduce by two-thirds.
  3. Remove the oranges and allow the syrup to cool.
  4. Slice the oranges in half and remove the pips, transfer the oragen to a food processor and puree.
  5. Place the pulp in a tea towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
  6. Add the vanilla , marmalade and mix well.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180degC
  8. Cut the filo pastry to fit a small roasting dish ( 25X20)
  9. Brush the baking tin with butter and start layering the filo sheets one by one brushing butter onto each layer,
  10. When you have used half the sheets , spoon over the orange puree
  11. The continue to layer up the sheets with butter
  12. Cut the baklava into squares and place in the oven for 30 minutes
  13. Reduce the temperature to 150degC until golden
  14. While still hot pour over a third of the syrup, after 10 minutes the syrup should be absorbed then add another third , leave to absorb again, repeat with the final third if required
photoP1050117 by you. 


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