Monday, February 2, 2009

The Joy of Vegan Baking Comes Through Again

I love phyllo dough. A lot. I love that you can stuff things in it, layer things between it, or throw stuff on top of it. I love that it gets so crunchy and airy and golden brown. It's the best. It's no wonder then, that I love baklava. This Turkish treat is made up of layers and layers of phyllo, pistachios, honey, and butter, and I had not had any in the longest time. Vegan baklava is hard to come by and working with phyllo seemed to be a super difficult task. Then, the other day, I was walking past the freezer section at Whole Foods and vegan organic phyllo dough caught my eye. Visions of baklava started dancing around in my brain, and I seemed to remember a recipe in the TJOVB for a vegan version. I forced aside my anxiety about working with this delicate pastry and grabbed a box.

Turns out I had nothing to worry about! Sure, it took time to brush all those layers with Earth Balance, but time consuming does not equate to difficulty. If anything, my labor made the final product all the sweeter. And sweet it was... maybe even a little too sweet! In place of honey, the recipe calls for an agave/simple syrup mixture. In addition to that, there is an optional 1 Tbs of sugar in the pistachio mix that I think i would leave out next time so that the cinnamon and cloves are more prominent than the sweetness. But other than that, this baklava is awesome. I wish I could say that it all got gobbled up at our Super Bowl party, but I don't think anyone had much room left after downing all the chips and guacamole (a huge hit by the way). Those who did try it, loved it, and I got to have plenty for myself. Never a bad thing.

So, the moral of the story is don't be afraid of phyllo. It's easier than you think. In fact, I'm already conjuring up ideas for "sausage" and kale phyllo pouches. Mmmmm......


Joan said...

That looks so yummy!Your such much better a cook than I!

Sky said...

"your such much" - classic. I assume you meant "you're so much" but again, this is why I love you. We can make baklava when I'm home in April!