Last week I got thinking (I know, sometimes I surprise myself), that as an allergy mom I have overcome many challenges. Surely it's not going to be a measly nut that will stump me. No, sir! Into the kitchen I went and out came a crazy concoction that turned out fabulous. Since my brother was visiting that night, I decided that he was going to be my unsuspecting victim. He's a connoisseur of such treats and baklava is near and dear to his heart, so I figured if he couldn't tell the difference, no one else will. Yes, people, he thought it was the real thing until I announced that it was dairy, egg AND nut free. Do not be turned off by the filling. It may sound unusual to put those things in with pastry but trust me, the finished product will taste just like the real thing, and no one will be the wiser.
The key here is to make this in a 9x13 inch tray because if you double the recipe and make it in a big tray (like my mother used to do and quadruple it) you will inevitably (and I'm really warning you here) eat the whole thing. If there was such a thing as a heart attack on a plate, this would qualify. While writing this post I even thought of removing the nutritional info because it's not really nutritional, more like a warning (the same kind you see on cigarette packages) to exercise a high degree of caution around those treats. They are addictive, sinful and down right evil. But they are soooo good. The photo shows an 8x8 inch tray because I used two trays, but the original recipe fits in a 9x13 inch cake pan. Like I said, keeping them around is insane so I kept one tray and divided the other among friends and family because that stuff goes straight to my love handles, and people, it's not a pretty sight. Enjoy! (the baklava that is, not my love handles)
Dairy, Egg, and Nut Free Egyptian Baklava
Yields 24 pieces
1 (454 grams) package dairy free phyllo dough
1 cup dairy free margarine, melted
1 cup quick oats
1 cup rice crispies
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 cup water
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Start by making the syrup. In a medium size sauce pan, combine 2 cups sugar and water. Bring to a boil on medium high. Let it boil for about 30 seconds then remove from heat. Immediately add the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Stir and let it sit uncovered.
Meanwhile, make the filling. In a medium sized bowl, combine oats, rice crispies, cinnamon, sugar and sesame seeds. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush the bottoms and sides of a 9x13 inch pan with dairy free margarine. Unroll phyllo dough. Cut whole stack in half to fit pan. Cover phyllo with a dampened cloth to keep from drying out as you work. Using the first half, place two sheets of dough in pan, thoroughly brush with margarine. Repeat until the first stack is layered. Evenly spread the filling, leaving 1/4 inch of space around the edges. Top with two sheets of dough, brush with margarine, and continue to layer using the second stack until it is all used.
Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. I usually cut into 4 long rows then make diagonal cuts starting with the other side. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until baklava is golden and crisp on top. Careful not to burn the edges.
Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon syrup over it, evenly. Let cool for 15 minutes and try very hard not to eat the whole thing by yourself.
Note: To store, you must leave it uncovered until it totally cools as it gets soggy if it is wrapped up while still warms. When it cools it can be stored in a sealed plastic container on the kitchen counter. You can also leave it in the tray and cover it with foil or saran wrap if you can make it last that long.
Nutritional Info (per piece)
Calories 215.81, Total Fat 9.35g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 204.64mg, Potassium 36.99mg, Total Carbohydrates 31.47g, Fiber 0.97g, Sugar 17.92g, Protein 2.09g
Nutrition analysis is approximate and will vary depending on exact ingredients used. Calculations are based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet. Nutritional Facts are obtained from Radium Technologies' Living Cookbook. However, Allergymom.ca has no affiliation with Radium Technologies and does not guarantee the accuracy of this information.