“Is there a difference?”
Thank you so much for asking. Now we can elaborate on one of our favorite topics:
Is Baklava Arabic or Turkish?
Here at Layla’s Delicacies, our customers often ask us about the delicious baklava recipe we use and whether it’s Turkish, Greek, or Arabic.
We proudly tell them we serve a unique Tunisian baklava pistachio.
We arrived in the United States a few years back from Tunisia, and the only way to satisfy our longing for homemade baklava was to, well, make it at home.
As we shared our Tunisian baklava with family and friends, we realized we’re not alone.
Layla’s Delicacies soon became a busy online Tunisian and Mediterranean bakery serving thousands of clients all over the US and the rest of the world.
Turkish and Tunisian Cuisine — a Shared Mediterranean Love Affair With Baklava
Baklava needs no introduction.
The poster child of Mediterranean sweets, baklava has Turkish origins and made its way to Tunisia with the Ottomans.
Geographically, all Tunisia and Turkey have in common is the Mediterranean Ocean.
Tunisia has rich cultural influences from North Africa while Turkey borders Asia and Europe, with culinary influences from both.
Both Turkey and Tunisia share strong Mediterranean culinary ties, and both are predominantly Muslim nations. Baklava is the Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr treat of choice in both nations as an after-dinner dessert.
The Muslim community often gives deliciously sticky, sweet, and nutty baklava to family and friends as Eid al-Fitr gifting to celebrate the end of Ramadan.
The History of Baklava
If you’re from the Mediterranean, you’ll know that Greece and Turkey are still arguing about who made baklava first.
“Although the history of baklava is not well documented, its current form was probably developed in the imperial kitchens of the Topkapı Palace in Istanbul. The Sultan presented trays of baklava to the Janissaries every 15th of the month of Ramadan in a ceremonial procession called the Baklava Alay” — Wikipedia
Tunisia, our homeland, has an exotic heritage full of passionate battles for the land — and it matched every battle with baklava shops in tow.
We have Arabic, Greek, and Turkish elements in our diverse Mediterranean cuisine.
Today, that all contributes to the exciting and cosmopolitan cuisine adored by all that have taken a bite of Tunisian treats.
What is the Difference Between Turkish and Tunisian Baklava?
The fundamental difference between the Tunisian and traditional Turkish baklava recipe is the sauce used to drench the phyllo sheets once you bake the dessert.
In Tunisia, we use pure honey to create a crunchy and naturally sweet bite.
With the Turkish recipe, you make the syrup from water, sugar, and lemon juice, then pour the cooled syrup over the baklava once baked.
Easy Turkish Baklava Recipe
You can use a Turkish baklava recipe and give it a Tunisian flair by replacing the baklava sauce with pure honey and adding ground almond layers to the mix.
In this way, you can effortlessly alternate between a Turkish or Tunisian pistachio baklava recipe.
In Tunisia, we make baklava in layers of phyllo and finely chopped pistachios wrapped in layers of ground almonds. We lovingly cover each phyllo sheet with butter and ground nuts, followed by a generous pouring of honey syrup for the perfect crispy yet chewy bite.
Let’s look at the traditional Turkish recipe.
Keep in mind all the delicious Tunisian secrets we share and change up the recipe according to your taste.
What Is Traditional Baklava Made Of?
You’ll use the following ingredients in a traditional Turkish baklava recipe:
- 1 pound phyllo pastry sheets
- 300 grams pistachio nuts
- 454 grams clarified butter
- ½ cup finely ground pistachio nuts for topping (you can use a food processor)
- 600 grams sugar in 400ml water with juice of ½ a lemon to make the baklava syrup
What Is the Green Powder on Baklava?
The green powder is the sublime ‘cherry on top’ of this delectable dessert. It occurs when you grind pistachios to a fine dust and sprinkle them over each slice.
Step by Step: a Simple Guide to Making Turkish Pistachio Baklava
|Prepare the sauce:||
Prepare the sugar syrup by boiling sugar and water in a saucepan.
Heat and stir the sauce for 25 minutes to thicken it.
Pour in the lemon juice once removed from the heat. The sauce must cool completely while you bake the baklava
|Prepare the phyllo sheets, baking pan, and oven:||
Before preparing the phyllo sheets, you can preheat the oven to 350 degrees °F and melt the butter in a microwave.
Also, brush your baking dish with clarified butter. Then, gently cut the phyllo pastry to the exact size of your baking dish.
|Stack the first layers:||
Lay the first phyllo sheet in the bottom of the pan. Brush it with melted butter, gently covering every inch.
Repeat this step with eight more phyllo sheets, brushing each sheet with clarified butter.
|Add the pistachios and more layers of phyllo pastry:||
You can choose the density of your ground pistachio nuts. Sprinkle half of them evenly on the phyllo pastry.
Follow it up with 10 more layers of phyllo sheets, brushing each sheet of phyllo dough with melted butter.
|Add the final layers to the Turkish baklava:||
Complete the above steps to finish the final layers of pistachios and phyllo dough.
Use the last of your clarified butter to thoroughly brush the top layer of phyllo pastry.
|Pre-cut the uncooked baklava:||You can be creative in your patterns but you should easily get 36 pieces. It’s best to use an immensely sharp knife to cut through all the layers.|
|Bake your baklava:||Check the baklava after 30 - 40 minutes. If it’s browning too much, you can cover the top with aluminum foil for the last 20 minutes in the oven.|
|Add the final ingredient of the recipe:||
Slowly pour the cold syrup over the blazing hot baklava. Don’t allow the baklava to cool down for this step. The combination of the hot and cold temperatures is vital to prevent soggy baklava.
Sprinkle finely ground pistachios over your beautiful baklava as a finishing touch.
Can I Order Fresh Baklava in the US?
If you don’t have enough time on your hands to bake Ramadan or Eid al-Fitr gifting for your loved ones, contact us and we’ll create and deliver the best Tunisian treats for you.
Layla’s Delicacies are here for you, always ready and willing to bake and deliver fresh baklava to your home or as gifts to your family.
We send fresh Tunisian and Mediterranean desserts all over the globe daily. You can pick from our beautiful selection of gift boxes and spoil your family and friends with a true taste of home.
And the Winner Is...
With baklava, there is no winning or losing recipe.
Each person has their favorite.
And, if the Tunisian recipe is yours, order a box of Layla’s Delicacies’ homemade, crunchy, buttery, honey-drenched, melt-in-your-mouth baklava today.
Why spend hours in front of the oven if you can order the best baklava fresh anywhere in the US?