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Nut-Free Baklava Recipe

I'm a vegetarian who loves cooking and I am always looking for new ways to adapt recipes and put an interesting spin on the food I make.

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Just Because You Have Nut Allergies Doesn't Mean You Can't Enjoy This Decadent Dessert!

Baklava... so tasty, and yet, for a person with nut allergies like myself, so off-limits. During holiday gatherings when it was brought out as a special treat or ordered as a dessert at a Greek restaurant, I would sit wistfully, wishing that I could eat a bite of the sugary stuff without my throat swelling up. Or sometimes, if I was feeling especially daring, I would peel apart the thin layers of phyllo, scrape off the nuts, and eat the layers, crossing my fingers that there would not be enough nut-residue to make me ill.

Last year, I decided enough is enough! And so I bring to you this easy, nut-free baklava recipe that is sure to be a hit with both those suffering from nut-allergies and those who are not:

(Makes 18 pieces, if cut into squares and then triangles, or 9 pieces if you prefer larger servings).

Ingredients:

  • Phyllo pastry sheets
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
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Filling:

  • 2 tbs. orange zest
  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 tbs. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice

Syrup:

  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tbs. honey
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • An 8–9-inch square pan

Preparation:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. To make the filling, simply mix together the sesame seeds, sugar, orange zest, and spices.
  3. Next, cut your phyllo sheets with a knife to fit the pan.
  4. Butter your pan, or use cooking spray. Then, add a sheet of phyllo and brush with butter. Add 3 more sheets, brushing with butter after each sheet. Then add a thin layer of the filling. Add three more sheets, (buttering each sheet) then more filling, and keep repeating this until you've used up the filling, topping it off with three sheets of phyllo, and a brushing of butter. Now, cut it into squares, since it will be difficult to do this after it has baked.
  5. Next, toss it into the oven for 1 hour.
  6. While it's baking, make the syrup. To make the syrup, just toss all of your syrup ingredients (sugar, water, honey, lemon zest) into a pot and stir, until the sugar dissolves. Bring it to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until it has a thin but syrup-like consistency.
  7. When your baklava is finished baking, pour the syrup over it, and enjoy!

© 2009 Delish Vegetarian

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