One of my earliest food memories (at least a positive food memory) is Baklava that I had at a Greek Festival at an Orthodox Church in San Diego. It seriously changed my entire perception of what dessert could be. Since I’m vegan, butter and honey are off limits, so I have been wanting to “veganize” this dessert for a while. Here it is. It may not be the authentic Greek dessert that we know and love, but its pretty freakin’ close and makes me happy.
1 16 oz package of phyllo dough
3/4 cup Earth Balance butter, melted
1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup raw pecans
1 cup raw brazilian nuts
1 cup plus 1 tbsp beet sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup water
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F.
Combine all the nuts in a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Add tbsp sugar and cinnamon and pulse until finely chopped. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, heat the water, 1 cup sugar, agave nectar, maple syrup and vanilla over medium heat. Simmer for 15 minutes, then remove from the heat to cool.
Melt the soy butter in a small saucepan over low/medium heat.
In a 9×13″ baking pan, spread enough butter to lightly coat the bottom. Add 2 sheets of phyllo dough. Brush lightly with butter. Spread a thin layer of the nut mixture. Continue this pattern until you have used all of the ingredients. With a serrated knife, carefully cut the dough into triangle shapes. It’s best to cut down the center (lengthwise) then evenly cut four slices across. Then divide each square in half diagonally. You should end up with 16 triangle pieces.
Bake in the oven until golden brown, about 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven. Spoon some of the agave/maple syrup mixture evenly on top. Set aside to cool for a few hours before serving.