The Great Australian Bake Off

https://www.lifestylefood.com.au/recipes/27139/spiral-baklava-tower

LifestyleFOOD.com.au

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Ingredients

  • filo pastry

  • 1.5kg plain flour

  • 750ml warm water

  • 60ml olive oil

  • 30ml salt

  • Filling 1 (cranberries)     

  • 4 large oranges     

  • 300g dried cranberries    

  • 400g blanched almonds, toasted    

  • 400g pistachios

  • Syrup 1 (cranberries)     

  • 4 star anise      

  • 2 sticks cinnamon     

  • 2 cloves      

  • 450g caster sugar      

  • 450ml water      

  • Filling 2 (apricot)

  • 300g dried apricots

  • 400g blanched almonds

  • 400g pistachios

  • Syrup 2 (apricot)

  • 3 sprigs of rosemary

  • 2 sticks cinnamon

  • 300g caster sugar

  • 300ml water

  • 250ml honey

  • Dusting

  • 250g plain flour

  • 250g corn flour

  • 400g butter (melted, for brushing)

  • 300g pistachios and orange zest to sprinkle on top of tower

Method

  • 1.

    For the filo pastry, combine flour and salt in a large ball. Make a well in the center. Into the well, add the oil and water. Bring together with one hand, then gradually work into a clump of pastry. Turn out onto surface, then continue to knead into a smooth ball (about 10-15minutes).

  • 2.

    Pastry has been kneaded enough when it has a smooth surface (that doesn’t tear when folded over). Divide pastry into three equal parts (by weight), then wrap tightly in clingfilm. Leave to rest at room temperature for at least an hour.

  • 3.

    For the filling and syrup 1, preheat oven to 160C. Juice the oranges (reserve peel) bring to the boil. Pulse cranberries in food processor until desired size is achieved – transfer to heatproof bowl. Pour hot orange juice over cranberries – stand for 30min.

  • 4.

    Meanwhile, for the candied orange, combine 450g sugar and 450ml water in saucepan – bring to boil to dissolve, then turn down to simmer. Trim all pith from orange peel. Chop into desired size, then add to simmering syrup until soft and transparent. Scoop out candied orange peel, combine with filling.

  • 5.

    Strain cranberries (squeeze if needed) – adding orange juice to candying syrup – add cinnamon, cloves and star anise. Simmer until slightly thickened, strain and set aside. Pulse nuts (separately) until desired texture is achieved. Combine nuts with candied orange peel and cranberries. Divide into two equal batches, set aside.

  • 6.

    Melt butter in heatproof bowl – set aside to brush onto pastry later.

  • 7.

    For the filling and syrup 2, pulse apricots to desired size, and then steep in some boiling water. Strain and press out excess liquid. Combine sugar, water, honey, rosemary and cinnamon – bring to a slow simmer until sugar is dissolved and liquid starts to thicken. Strain and set aside. Pulse nuts to desired size, combine with apricots – set aside.

  • 8.

    For the pastry, divide each of the three balls into 12 pieces (36 total), each weighing about 55-60g

  • 9.

    Fold over each ball and tuck in at the bottom for a seamless surface – set aside under a damp tea towel or cling wrapped bowl (not touching).

  • 10.

    To assemble, prepare square pan(s) by lining the base with wax paper. Generously brush base of each pan with butter. Combine the 250g flour and 250g cornflour and blend well, sprinkle work surface with this

  • 11.

    Roll out first ball into the size of a small plate (about 6inches diameter) – set aside under barely-damp towel. Roll out another ball to similar size, and then place on top of first rolled ball (generously dusting the flour-mix between layers to prevent sticking).

  • 12.

    Repeat for about 5 balls. Roll out full stack of 5 sheets until about double in surface – separate sheets, then repeat dusting between each one to restack again. Repeat dusting, stacking and rolling process until desired surface area or thinness is achieve for filo (repeat this process for remainder of sheets required)

  • 13.

    Working quickly, line first pan with a sheet of filo.

  • 14.

    Sprinkle with generously with butter, then top with another layer of filo (only need to butter every 2nd or so layer of filo). Repeat for 5 sheets of filo.

  • 15.

    Evenly spread ½ of one batch of filling over the top (5th) layer of filo.

  • 16.

    Top with a 6th layer of filo, butter, and then sprinkle a thin, even layer of finely grated (or pulsed) pistachios over the surface.

  • 17.

    Top the pistachio layer with a 7th and 8th layer of filo (buttering).

  • 18.

    Spread the other 1/2 of one batch of filling over 8th layer of filo. Top with 4 layers of filo (ensuring that the final layer is perfectly smooth and tear-free (butter every second layer and the final layer generously)

  • 19.

    Place in fridge to cool – slice into desired sizes before baking for about 30min.

  • 20.

    Repeat process for remaining baking pan with the second filling.

  • 21.

    Once baked, drizzle each pan generously with the respective syrup (into crevasses) – set aside for as long as possible before turning out to build tower.

  • 22.

    Decorate by sprinkling the tower with grated pistachios and orange zest.

Notes

This recipe has not been edited or tested by the Bake Off Food Department.

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