Baklava is a sweet and flaky pastry made from layering filo dough with chopped nuts and sweet syrup. In this recipe, baklava is served in a rolled form – saragli, rather than layered in a pan. If you want to get fancy with this recipe, you can twist the rolls into a round cake pan for strifti or coiled baklava. Rolled or coiled, this sweet treat is as lovely as it is delicious!
Baklava Saragli [Vegan]
For the Filling:
- 2 cups finely chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons tahini, mixed well before measuring
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 teaspoons lemon zest
For the Syrup:
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup agave nectar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
For the Rest:
- Frozen filo sheets, thawed
- 1/2-inch wooden dowel
- Toast and finely chop walnuts. Set aside. Warm tahini, lemon juice, sugar, and cinnamon over very heat. Stir until mixture becomes a thick, dark brown paste. Add sugar/tahini paste to chopped walnuts, incorporate completely, and stir in lemon zest. Filling can be made up to 2 weeks ahead.
- Open filo sheet package and lay stack vertically on top of slightly damp kitchen towel with a sheet of plastic wrap on top. Using sunflower oil or a light olive oil, very lightly brush filo sheet and evenly scatter nut filling across oiled sheet. Use approximately 1/4-1/3 cup of nut filling per roll.
- From the bottom end, fold over about an inch of the filo dough and lay dowel across the folded pieces, then gently roll up over the nut mixture to the top of the filo sheet. Set rolled sheet aside at top of stack of filo sheets and lightly brush new filo sheet with sunflower oil. Roll the new sheet right on top of the roll containing the nut filling.
- Firmly grasp the dowel at each end of the rolled filo sheets and gently push each end toward the center in order to bunch up the filo roll. Go slowly so your folds are evenly distributed. Hold dowel over the parchment lined pan and carefully push/nudge bunched roll off dowel and into pan.
- Your finished 12-13 filled/bunched rolls should be just about 8-9 inches long and fit perfectly into 2, 9×13-inch baking pan.
- Lightly brush the tops and sides of each roll with sunflower or light olive oil and score. Scoring simply means to cut just through the first layers of filo dough with a very sharp knife or razor blade. Bake for 40 minutes at 350°F, until golden.
- Combine syrup ingredients in small pot and boil for 5 minutes. Pour syrup directly over top of your still warm saragli, give them 15-30 to soak up syrup and serve.
Score baklava rolls on a diagonal, that way the cut pieces have a little more visual interest when plated as you see in the picture. If you cut each roll approximately 4 times you’ll get 4 perfect pieces and 2 end pieces - not as pretty but just as delicious!