Monday, November 15, 2010

Vegan Baklava... it's true.

I made it again. Because My Big Fat Greek Wedding was on. Again. What can I say?

It's like, fate or something.

I just love the part where Nick walks in to the gaggle of bridesmaids, in the midst of wedding prep. Picture it: He's got at plate o' goodness in his hand (aka fresh baklavah), and he proclaims loudly, 'hello ladies!! fresh baklava!' And all the voluptuous bridesmaids turn around drooling like crazy in anticipation. Only to see Nick with a camera, snapping a picture with great satisfaction. Their look of horror over being photographed in their lingeried mud masked glory is priceless. Just priceless. Gets me every time!!!! Seriously. Every time. So much so that I just have to make baklava. Vegan style. And as you will remember. My very carnivore friends, which I first made it for (a) loved it and (b) couldn't believe it was vegan. Touche.

Make the baklava. Make it vegan. You will love it. The end.

Yield: 4 servings

5 oz chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
About 1/4 of a package of phyllo dough
1/3 cup Earth Balance, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
3 Tablespoons agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lime zest

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Butter your pan... I used my small Mario Batali loaf pan. Note: this recipe makes a very small baklava so keep that in mind when choosing your pan. That or just double/triple it to make it in a bigger pan.

In a bowl, combine the walnuts and cinnamon and mix together.

Unroll phyllo dough and cut it to match your pan length. I say this because the Mario Batali pan that I used was long and quite narrow; it's about 2 inches wide.

Lay two sheets of phyllo into the bottom of your pan. Sprinkle some of your walnut cinnamon mixture on top; just enough to cover the phyllo. Repeat layers until all ingredients are used, finishing with a phyllo dough layer.

Using a sharp knife, cut the uncooked baklava into 1 1/2 to 2 inch pieces. Again, adapt this depending on what kind of pan you are using.

Put your pan into your oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden and crispy.

While your baklava is cooking, prepare your 'sauce'. In a pan on the stove, combine sugar and water and bring to a boil. Stir in agave nectar, vanilla and lime zest, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Note: keep an eye on it and stir continually so you don't get a sticky gross mess in the bottom of your pan

When baklava is done in the oven, remove and immediately pour the 'sauce'on top. When I did this it simmered something crazy against the hot baklava pan. That's ok. Pour it on and then leave it alone. That means let it sit until it's cooled.

I'm pretty sure ice cream is not a 'traditional' partner to baklava but I was already breaking the rules by not using butter so I thought, 'why not?'. I used Purely Decadent vanilla against a perfectly portioned slice of baklava atop one of my awesome garage sale plates!
It was so good... really rich so you don't need much, but flavorful, fun to eat and obviously was a big hit.



  1. Wonderful job with this vegan version. Very creative. Amazing photos as well.

  2. What a perfect pairing! Oh, please tell me you saved me some!

  3. Ohhhh, baklava is one of my favorite desserts in the WORLD...ME WANT!

    There's a Greek Orthodox church here in KC that has an annual Greekfest at which they serve Baklava Sundaes. Pretty much just baklava + ice cream + extra honey syrup. To.die.for.

  4. Briarroose... thank you! It is truly delicious :)

    Lazaro... thanks! Even the devoutly non vegan guest was impressed :)

    Vegiegail... it was hard to save, for sure! I did have a little left over though :)

    Amber...Fun! there's nothing better than baklava and ice cream. Love the honey syrup too!



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