Baklava is a very popular Turkish sweet dating back to Ottoman Empire, made with flaky & thin filo pastries, nuts, and syrup. My super easy Turkish Pistachio Baklava (translated as Fistikli Baklava) recipe is perfect for you if you want to learn how to make your homemade version.
This classic Turkish sweet "baklava" made with ready-made filo pastries is perfect for you if you don't have time to make your filo pastry sheets. However, if you want to learn how to make authentic baklava from scratch, check my Homemade Turkish Baklava Recipe out.
Fistikli Baklava is the perfect dessert for holidays or special occasions and you can make it ahead. Although layering all these filo pastries might look intimidating, this is possibly one of the easiest & quickest desserts to make for a celebration.
Why This Recipe Works?
- Easy to make with only a few ingredients. All you need is filo pastry, butter, nuts and sugar!
- Perfect party food and a real crowd-pleaser, this recipe will give you seventy pieces of diamond-shaped pistachio baklava!
- You can make it ahead, actually, it tastes much better after a day or two.
- This scrumptious Turkish sweet is freezer friendly. If this is too many baklavas for you, portion them in an airtight container and keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Ingredients and Substitutes
- Filo Pastry - Use paper-thin filo sheets, not the thick ones. I buy the Au Ble D'or brand here in the UK which is perfect for making baklava. They are sold fresh so there is no need to defrost them. You can also find filo pastry in the freezer section of most large grocery shops. They are usually near the frozen pie crust and puff pastry.
- Butter - Use a good quality unsalted butter and don't skimp on it! There are only a few ingredients needed to make this indulgent & rich dessert so make sure you use the best quality ones for the best results. Clarify the butter before using it as the milk solids will burn quickly and will give black spots on the baklava.
- Pistachio - They are one of the most common nuts used for making baklava. You can substitute it with walnuts or hazelnuts. I slightly roast them in a preheated oven to 150 °C for 20 minutes before blitzing for a more intense flavour.
- Sugar - I use caster sugar or granulated sugar to make a stock syrup.
- Lemon - A few drops of lemon juice are used to prevent the syrup from crystallising. Don't use too much lemon juice as it will destroy the taste of the baklava.
Baklava is one of those desserts that has a reputation for difficulty but is actually surprisingly easy to make with a few tips and steps:
Prepare the Syrup
Start with preparing the simple syrup and let it cool down while layering the filo sheets. Place the water and sugar in a pan and put on medium heat. Stir it until the sugar dissolves, bring it to a boil, and let it gently simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Add a few drops of lemon juice, let it simmer for a few more minutes, and then remove the pan from heat.
Layer the Baklava
Preheat the oven to 175 °C. Trim the filo sheets to fit a tray size of 24cm x 35 cm (9" x 13.5"). Trim one pack of filo at a time and then cover them with a damp towel to avoid them from drying out. Mix the melted clarified butter and vegetable oil in a bowl. Place one filo sheet into the pan and then drizzle a spoon of the butter mixture over it.
You don’t need to brush each layer thoroughly. Repeat the same until you finish the first pack of filo pastry. You should have around 28-30 layers. Spread the pistachio nuts over filo pastry layers and then press them down lightly.
Trim the other pack of filo pastry sheets and then continue the layering and buttering process.
Portion the Baklava
Cut the pastry into diamond shapes or squares using a very sharp knife. Make sure you cut all the way through to the bottom layer. You can adjust the size of the pieces to your liking but I usually get about 70 pieces out of one tray when I cut them the size of 4cm (1.5"). Pour any remaining butter mixture over the top to finish.
Bake the Baklava and Soak Overnight
Place the baklava tray into the hot oven (175° C fan oven) and then bake it for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 160°C and then bake it for another 45 minutes or until it is golden brown on top. Also, check if the bottom layers are cooked through.
Remove the baklava from the oven, let it cool down for 5 minutes and then slowly pour the cooled syrup over it. Let the baklava soak in syrup overnight before serving.
For more delicious traditional Turkish recipes why not try:
Baklava is one of the most popular desserts dating back to Ottomans. It is made with layers of thin flaky filo pastries filled with nuts and soaked in simple syrup. Although many Meditteranean and Middle Eastern countries have their own versions of baklava, they all are made with four basic ingredients: Filo pastry, butter, nuts, and syrup. You can easily tweak it and create your version to make your unique baklava.
Turkish baklava is generally made of walnuts or pistachio nuts and rarely hazelnuts (mostly north part of Turkey), and never a mixture of nuts! Greek baklava is made with almonds & walnuts, or a mixture of both mixed with cinnamon. Also, Greek baklava uses honey for the syrup while the Turkish version uses simple syrup made with an equal amount of water and sugar.
No, baklava is not vegan due to the use of butter (and some recipes use honey). Butter is the main ingredient that gives the baklava its crispness, and also makes it extremely rich & delicious.
Top Tip From the Chef
- If using frozen filo pastries, remember to thaw them in the fridge overnight, and also leave them out for half an hour to bring them to room temperature before using them. Keep them covered with a damp towel after opening the packaging and handle them gently.
- Make the syrup in advance and make sure it is at room temperature before adding it to the freshly baked & hot baklava.
- Use clarified butter to avoid dark & burnt marks on top of the baklava.
I hope you enjoy the process of making this Pistachio Baklava made with filo pastries as much as you enjoy eating it! 🙂
Bon appétit! / Afiyet Olsun!
Turkish Pistachio Baklava
For the Syrup
- 1 l water
- 1 kg caster or granulated sugar
- lemon juice (few drops)
For the Baklava
- 2 packs filo pastry (470 grams each)
- 200 g clarified butter (melted)
- 115 ml vegetable oil or sunflower oil
- 400 g pistachio nuts (chopped or blitzed)
Preparing the Syrup
- Place the water and sugar in a pan and put on medium heat.
- Stir it until the sugar dissolves, bring it to a boil, and let it gently boil for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Add a few drops of lemon juice, let it simmer for a few more minutes, and then remove the pan from heat.
- Let it cool down while layering the filo sheets.
Building the Baklava
- Preheat the oven to 175 °C.
- Trim the filo sheets to fit a tray size of 35cm x 24cm (14" x 9.5"). Trim one pack of filo at a time then cover them with a damp towel to keep them from drying out.
- Mix the melted clarified butter and vegetable oil in a bowl.
- Place one filo sheet into the pan and drizzle a spoon of the butter mixture over it. You don’t need to brush each layer thoroughly.
- Repeat the same until you finish the first pack of filo pastry. You should have around 28-30 layers.
- Spread the pistachio nuts over filo pastry layers and press them down lightly.
- Trim the other pack of filo pastry sheets and continue the layering and buttering process.
- When you reach the last sheet pour any remaining butter mixture over the top to finish.
- Cut the pastry into diamond shapes or squares using a very sharp knife. Make sure you cut all the way through to the bottom layer. You can adjust the size of the pieces to your liking but I usually get about 70 pieces out of one tray when I cut them the size of 4cm (1.5").
- Place the baklava tray into the hot oven (180° C fan oven) and bake for 15 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to 160°C and bake it for another 45 minutes or until it is golden brown on top. Also, check if the bottom layers are cooked through.
- Remove the baklava from the oven, let it cool down for 5 minutes and slowly pour the cooled syrup over it.
- Let the baklava soak in syrup overnight before serving.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
See more guidelines at USDA.gov.
This post use affiliate links. This means that if you click on them and then buy something, we get a small amount of commission to keep the site running, but it doesn’t cost you anything more.
Did you make this recipe?