This is a recipe that Yiannis’ mother always used to make for Christmas and New Year’s- Yiannis and I have carried on this tradition.

500 g filo pastry dough

500 g finely chopped walnuts or almonds

1 T cinnamon

3 T fine dry breadcrumbs

20 cloves

250 g melted butter



3 C sugar  (hoe groot zijn de koppen suiker?-gewicht misschien beter?)

1 C honey (or replace with one additional cup sugar)

3 C water

juice of one lemon


Preheat oven to 150° C. Mix the nuts, cinnamon and breadcrumbs in a bowl.

Oil a large baking pan and layer about 1/3 of the filo sheets in the pan, brushing each one with butter. Spread ½ of the nut mixture over the dough. Layer a couple more sheets of buttered filo over the nuts then spread the rest of the nut mixture on top of that. Cover with the remaining filo sheets and butter generously, especially the top of the pastry. There should be at least 4 layers of dough at the bottom and the top (there may be fewer in the middle). Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry into even squares, then cut each square diagonally to make triangles. Push one clove into the centre of each triangle. Bake the baklava about 1 hour. Cool.

Boil water, sugar (and honey) and lemon juice for 15 minutes to make a syrup, then pour the boiling syrup over the cooled baklava.

Close your eyes as you taste this and you will imagine you are in Greece!