Pumpkin Baklava

The Cretans eat a lot of pumpkin during the winter and have learned to do a lot of simple but very tasty things with it. This recipes roots are in Asia Minor, but its name is misleading because each sheet of fyllo is wrapped around a bit of filling rather than layered in a baking pan. However you want to call it, this inspired pumpkin classic will have your guests sneaking thirds.

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500 g cleaned pumpkin, cut into large cubes
120 ml olive oil, plus oil for brushing the fyllo
75 g walnuts, chopped
70 g fine semolina
150 g sugar
1 tsp powdered cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 packet fyllo

For the syrup
200 g sugar
240 ml water
1 tbshoney
1 tbs lemon juice


Preheat oven at 200° C.


1.  Bring the pumpkin to a boil with 120 ml  of water and a pinch of salt.

2.  Simmer until the pumpkin cubes become mushy. Drain them overnight in a colander.

3.  The next day, heat 60 ml  of oil in a saucepan and add the pumpkin, stirring from time to time with a wooden spoon until you have a purée. Let cool.

4.  Add the crushed walnuts, semolina, sugar and spices and mix everything together thoroughly.

5.  One by one lay the sheets of fyllo on your work space, paint the surface with olive oil and spread a little of the mixture on the long side of each sheet, leaving 5 cm (a couple of inches) as margin on either side.

6.  Roll up each sheet as you would a strudel and cut the pastry into lengths of about 9 cm (3 inches) (about 4 pieces from each cylinder).

7.  Repeat with the rest of the filling and fyllo, laying them side by side on an oiled baking sheet.

8.  When you have finished making the pastries, heat the remaining olive oil to boiling and drizzle a teaspoon of the hot olive oil over each of the rolls.

9.  Bake for 30 minutes.

10.  While they are baking, make the syrup.

11.  Bring the sugar, water and honey to the boil in a small saucepan, lower the heat to moderate and boil slowly for about 5 minutes.

12.  Add the lemon juice a minute or two before the end.

13.  Let cool and then pour the syrup over the pies while they are still hot.


You can make a large baklava.
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