The classic Middle Eastern tea-time treat of layers of chopped nuts interlaced with flaky filo pastry and finished off in sugar syrup. The lemon helps to cut through the sweetness but I’m not going to pretend that this is anything other than very indulgent. Best served with tea or coffee.


  • 300g unsalted pistachio nuts, chopped

  • (you may find this easiest to do in a blender)

  • 100g caster sugar

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • 200g butter, melted

  • 16 sheets of filo pastry, cut in half

  • For the syrup

  • 200g caster sugar

  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon


  • 1.

    Preheat the oven to 160ºC/Gas 3.

  • 2.

    Put the pistachios, caster sugar and lemon zest into a bowl and mix together.

  • 3.

    Select a baking tray the size of your halved filo sheets. Brush it with melted butter and place a halved sheet of filo on it. Brush this with butter, sprinkle with some of the pistachio mixture, and continue layering the sheets in the same way until you have used all 32 of them.

  • 4.

    Using a sharp knife, cut the layered pastry into bite-sized squares. Bake for 30–40 minutes, until golden and crisp on top.

  • 5.

    Meanwhile, make the syrup. Put the sugar, lemon zest and juice into a small saucepan with 200ml water and bring to the boil, stirring to help the sugar dissolve. Simmer for 7–10 minutes, until the syrup has slightly thickened. Set aside to cool. 

  • 6.

    When the baklava are ready and piping hot, place the tray on a work surface and pour the syrup over them, making sure it penetrates every bit of them and runs between the gaps. Leave for at least 12 hours before eating. The baklava can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (60 servings)

  • Energy 431kj
  • Fat Total 29g
  • Saturated Fat 8g
  • Protein 5g
  • Carbohydrate 36g
  • Sugar 5g
  • Sodium 163mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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Recipes extracted from Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Home Cooking by Gordon Ramsay, published by Hodder & Stoughton.

Photography © Con Poulos


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