This weekend gone marks the 27th birthday of my housemate and dear friend. She was one of the first people I met at university and even through she has seen me at my very worse and at various states of fancy dress over the last seven years, she foolishly is still my friend. She is a saint to put up with my rubbish and weirdness, so to repay her a small amount that she is owned I made her a savoury birthday treat as she isn’t too fussed with the sweet treats. I give you Brie and Walnut Baklava!!!!
A lot of cheese and butter goes into this so perfect for a celebration or just treating a cheese lover in your life. Instead of a super sweet syrup to drizzle over the top, I reduced down some (more) butter and my dad’s honey with a sprinkle of fresh thyme, salt and pepper. Also not to make it too nut heavy I added some panko breadcrumbs to create a nice filling and crunch.
- -150g unsalted butter, melted
- – 250g filo pastry
- – 400g brie, sliced
- – 150g walnuts, roughly chopped
- – a few sprigs of fresh thyme
- – 75g panko breadcrumbs
- – 25g honey
- Oven to 180C. Cut the stack of filo pastry to fit your tin and keep covered with a tea towel to not dry out. I used a 8″ round shallow sandwich tin. Mix the walnuts, breadcrumbs, thyme leaves, salt and pepper in a bowl and set aside. Brush the bottom of the tin with melted butter and lay on one sheet of filo. Brush that sheet of pastry with melted butter and lay on another sheet of pastry. Continue to lay on the pastry with butter layers, till you have 9 layers of pastry.
- Lay on a third of the slices of brie, not completely covering the pastry layer, as the cheese will melt out. Scatter over a third of the walnut mixture over the brie.
- Gently lay over a sheet of filo, carefully brush over more melted butter and continue layering with pastry and butter for another 9 layers. Lay on another third of cheese and another third of the walnut mixture. Lay on another 9 layers of filo pastry and butter and then finish off the remaining cheese and walnuts. Another 9 layers of pastry. Final brush of butter and a sprinkle of thyme. Carefully cut through the layers and cut the baklava into diamonds.
- Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes until golden. While it is cooking melt 25g butter (you may have some left over from the laying) with the honey and more thyme. Heat until a syrupy mixture. Once the baklava is cooked, pour over the honey mixture and return to the oven for another 7-10 minutes to golden up. Enjoy warm.