Even though many nations claim the famous dessert, it is well known that the Baklava as we know it today is thanks to the Ottoman Empire from the fifteenth century onwards. The recipe was perfected by the Topkapi Palace kitchens in Istanbul, Turkey during the seventeenth century, becoming one of the favorite recipes of the Sultan to share with his soldiers on the fifteenth day of Ramadan.
As it is expected all the regions that once were under the Ottoman Empire have different takes on the well-known pastry. But they all agree that the sheets of pastry need to be stretched so thin they become transparent, before being buttered and layered on top of one another. Turkey is recognized for its high-quality nuts, so it is not surprising why they use their own pistachios from cities like Antep to make this delicacy.
Nonetheless, as we mentioned above, there are different takes on this dessert and we will name some of them below:
- Ceviz dolma – round in shape and more compact than traditional baklava, with a whole walnut wrapped many times in filo pastry.
- Saray sarmasi – Similar to ceviz dolma, but filled with ground pistachios and walnuts instead.
- Dürüm – a single layer of filo pastry is rolled around a thick mixture of ground pistachios, which can turn the pastry itself a vivid green.
- Özel kare – just like standard baklava but with double the amount of filling and roughly chopped pistachios instead of ground.
- Vişneli – these contain a sour cherry filling instead of (or sometimes as well as) nuts.
- Kestaneli – filo pastry wrapped around a candied chestnut and topped with ground pistachios.
- Burma – whole pistachios are wrapped in shredded filo pastry into one long sausage, before being chopped into thin slices.
Source: Great British Chefs