Add a little Turkish charm to your Christmas menu with this traditional Baklava dessert.

Baklava, for those who don’t know, is a buttery, syrupy, nutty pastry dessert that originates from Ottoman Turkey. Its extra crunchy texture and super-sweet flavour make for a gloriously glutinous dessert — the perfect end to a truly indulgent Christmas dinner.

This is MasterChef finalist, Delia-Maria Asser’s Christmas Baklava recipe. Simple, yet refined, it is the perfect guide for beginners and experienced bakers alike. Enjoy!

Christmas Baklava



400g filo pastry, or 15 leaves

200g melted butter

200g walnuts

80g pistachios

100g cooked chestnuts

70g chopped dried figs

2 tsp light muscovado sugar

Zest and juice of one orange

½ jar The Cherry Tree Plum & Mulled Wine jam

  • Heat your oven to 350°F/180°C/Gas mark 4. Grease a square baking tin with some of the melted butter.
  • Prepare your baklava mix by chopping the walnut, pistachios, chestnuts and dried figs into smallish pieces. You can have slightly different sizes to allow for a bit of texture.
  • Add the orange zest to the nut mix along with five tablespoons of the melted butter — you want there to be enough butter in the nut mix so that it can hold its shape.
  • If necessary, add a couple of tablespoons more butter.
  • Begin by layering five sheets of the filo pastry into the baking tin — brush each layer with the melted butter before placing another sheet over the top. You may need to cut each filo pastry sheet to size so that they fit in the baking tin.
  • After layering five sheets of filo, brush the top of the last layer with more butter.
  • Spread half of the nut mixture evenly over the filo and press it gently with the back of a spoon.
  • Layer a further five layers of filo pastry on top of the nut mixture. Again, brush each layer with butter.
  • Butter the last layer and then spread the rest of the nut mixture over it.
  • Layer a further five layers of filo over the top of the second layer of nut mixture, not forgetting to brush each layer as you go.
  • Brush the final top layer with butter and then score the baklava into diamond shapes, cutting gently through the first few layers.
  • Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Whilst the baklava is in the oven, make the syrup.
  • Place half a jar of The Cherry Tree Plum and Mulled Wine jam in a saucepan along with the orange juice and light muscovado sugar.
  • Whisk these and heat until the ingredients come together and form a thin syrup. Add a little water to loosen the mixture, then leave to cool.
  • When the baklava is golden, remove from the oven and leave to stand for a few minutes — you don’t want it to be soggy and hot for the next part.
  • Pour the cooled syrup over the baklava, ensuring that the syrup goes down the cuts and covers the whole thing.
  • Leave to cool completely, even overnight so that all of the flavours can seep into the pastry and nut mixture.
  • Cut through the baklava and serve on a plate — dust with icing sugar and serve with mulled wine on the side. Delicious!

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