Aren’t mom’s the best? Just when I thought my mom showed me all the tricks in her book (brain) of kitchen techniques, she smacks-down this little ditty on the kitchen counter!
I’ve seen these in assortment trays from Greek bakeries. I’ve eaten these at Greek festivals. I seen these offered by other cuisines (Middle-Eastern, Lebanese & Turkish) and in all cases, I was never sure how these were assembled. Until now.
The most important part of making these Baklava Daisies (Margarites) is a medium-sized dowel. The length should be longer than your phyllo pastry and the girth of the dowel should be about equal to the handle of your typical wooden spoon.
The wooden dowel gets buttered (as does the phyllo) and one simply rolls-up the phyllo in the dowel and then push it with your fingers down along either side of the dowel. The phyllo scrunches up and the creativity only just begins.
Leave about 1 inch of the phyllo in tact (not wrinkled) and then slit it open with a knife. Now slice the phyllo off the dowel. Open the 1-inch section of the phyllo with your finger and bend inwards. Now carefully wrap the wrinkled part of the phyllo (like as if it were a snail) to form a daisy. The open-ended phyllo in the middle will be the base for your nut mixture.
Again, another interpretation of the same Baklava ingredients: phyllo pastry, melted butter, nuts, sugar, cinnamon and cloves and finally,Â the aromatic syrup.
Let’s make some Margarites (Baklava Daisies)!
Margarites or Baklava Daisies
(makes approx. 32-36 pieces)
1 package of commercial phyllo (454gr.)
(thawed overnight in the fridge)
2 cups of walnuts
1 cup of melted , clarified butter
1/2 tsp. ground clove
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup of water
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1/4 cup of honey
juice of 1/4 lemon
Pre-heated 325F oven
- Prepare your syrup by adding your water, sugar, honey and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Now add your lemon juice and bring to a boil then simmer for another 10 minutes. Set aside.
- In a food processor, add your walnuts, sugar, cinnamon and cloves and pulse into a crumbly, grainy consistency.Â Set aside. Take your phyllo out of the fridge and allow to come to room temperature (15 minutes). Pre-heat your oven and have melted butter ready. Butter a large baking vessel (at least 1 inch deep) and set aside.
- Cut your phyllo in half, lengthwise. Brush your wooden dowel with butter before you begin.
- Brush your piece of phyllo and place it on your work surface. Place the wooden dowel at the bottom of the phyllo and roll the phyllo up. Now slide the phyllo along to either end of the dowel, creating a wrinkled effect to about 1 inch from the end (leave unwrinkled).
- Cut the unwrinkled section of phyllo with a sharp knife and then carefully slide the phyllo off the dowel. Open the sliced part of the phyllo to look like a flat tongue.
- Now carefully bend the wrinkled part of the phyllo around the the flat section until it’s surrounded and taute. You should now have formed a daisyÂ with your phyllo pastry. Place your daisy in your butter pan and brush the top lightly with butter.
- Repeat until all your phyllo has been made into daisies. Again, brush the tops of all your daisies with melted butter and place in your pre-heated oven for 30 minutes or until just golden.
- Pour enough cold syrup to submerge the daisies 3/4 of the way up. Allow for the syrup to be absorbed for 30 minutes. Carefully transfer the phyllo cups to a drip rack. You will have excess syrup. Pass any excess syrup through a strainer (remove bits of phyllo) and store for future use in your fridge.
- Place approx. 1 tsp. of nut filling in the center of each daisy. Store in containers and keep in a cool, dry room for up to two weeks.
Note: You might have to bake these off in batches, which means the baked phyllo will be cool. In this instance, re-heat your syrup and pour it over the cooled phyllo cups (one component MUST be hot and the other MUST be cold).
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