Baklava Alayi (Baklava Parade)

On the 15th of every Ramadan, it was customary in the Ottoman palaces for the Sultan to present Baklava trays to be distributed to the janissaries in a tradition called the Baklava Alayi. It is said that accepting these trays – especially by the higher ranking janissaries – indicated satisfaction with their pay and conditions, while returning the tray was to communicate dissatisfaction. The Harem would also distribute Baklava trays to their janissaries and would go the extent of distributing them to the populace in special events and celebrations. In modern days, Baklava is still considered – by many – the sweet of choice for celebrations and gifting. Many would serve Baklava to everyday guests and on special occasions such as Ramadan, Eid and other occasions. Furthermore, many would give Baklava as a gift when visiting guests. This tradition still lives on and had been started back in the Ottoman days.

There are many varieties of Baklava, almost every Middle Eastern country has its own Baklava recipe. This is the basic Turkish recipe, with which you can get creative. Confectioners usually boast the number of sheets used in making Baklava (the more being better), so it is common to hear that this Baklava was made out of 70 sheets even going up to 90 sheets as base before filling and so on.

I have gone for 1 packet of filo sheets here, but feel free to become a confectioner and go for the 90 sheets! 🙂


Serves: 10
  • 1 packet square filo pastry sheets, or make your own filo (recipe here)
  • 250 g butter, melted
  • 1.5 cups walnuts (or pistachio), roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup soft brown sugar
  • 1 recipe DS Supreme Sugar Syrup (on this link)

Preheat your oven to  340F.

Line a shallow baking dish with baking paper. Place 2 filo sheets on the lined sheet and generously brush them with melted butter. Top with another layer of filo and brush it with butter and continue to spread and brush until you have used half the packet of filo. Sprinkle the top layer of the brushed pastry with the chopped walnuts and sprinkle the soft brown sugar on top. Continue to layer and brush the remaining pastry.

Using a sharp knife cut through the layers in the shape and size that you desire. Generously brush the top with butter once more and bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.

Meanwhile, make the sugar syrup. While the syrup is still warm, pour it slowly over the cooled Baklava, allowing it to be absorbed.

Once cooled, transfer the Baklava pieces into a serving dish and sprinkle the tops lightly with crushed pistachios. Serve at room temperature.

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