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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Ballourie or Ballorieh Baklava



Whenever I bought this dessert from Middle Eastern Grocery store, I loved it and  always wanted to make it at home. I tried to find recipes for it in several middle eastern cook books and on websites but could not find any.  The box would indicate what ingredients it has so I decided to experiment it myself.  I felt pretty confident,  as as you all know that I have somewhat perfected my own way of making traditional Baklava.
Baklava is one of the most cherished desserts in middle ease/ The best thing about baklava is that they are of many kinds and once can alter it according to their liking.
It is one of the dessert which needs lot of practice to attain perfection. A rich pistachio filling covered with delicious stringy dough crust from top and bottom.  What many don't know is that baklava dates back to the 8th century BC when the Assyrian Empire was on its way to diminishing.  The reason it is Syrian authentically is because Baklava by nature is in the Near East, required a pistachio called Red Aleppo that originated from a place called "Halab".
Halab translates to English as Aleppo.  The name of the pistachio deduces its nomenclature from its birthplace and color. The pistachio is uniquely red. Characteristics of Ballorieh:  Pronunciation of «Ballorieh» Pronounced [bal-law-ri-yeh]: You can spot Ballorieh in an assorted Arabic sweets arrangement from a distance: It is the white piece glowing at you. It gets its characteristically white glowing color from the fact that it is very lightly baked and its dough is kept almost raw. The added sugar syrup gives it its shiny look. It is the only piece among all assorted Baklava types that is kept almost raw. In fact, it is baked for only about few minutes. Its thick and rich pistachio filling makes it the preferred piece for pistachio lovers.
Ballorieh was originally invented in the Syrian city of Aleppo (Halab).Which is sadly in news a lot lately due to tragically being the war zone and due to lots of civilian casualties.

Meaning and Pronunciation of «Ballorieh» Pronounced [bal-law-ri-yeh], it comes from the Palestinian word for «Glow». It is thus named because of its unique white color and glowing texture that differentiates it from all other types of dessert. Ballorieh with pistachios. 
I am very proud to say I made it and to perfection to the point that the taste was even better than that of store bought.  I thought that I would share the recipe with you all and proud to say that this may be the very first published step by step recipe available for this on line as I could not find it anywhere.  Of course I used the ready made Kataifi dough (shredded dough) Which is readily available in most of the middle eastern markets, just like the Phyllo dough for traditional baklava. It is much easier rather than trying to make the dough from scratch. 

Ingredients for top and bottom layer of dough:
  • 16 oz pack of Kataifi dough
  • 1/2 cup of Ghee (Clarified butter) or unsalted butter.
Ingredients for Syrup for dough:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Fresh lime juice for one half large lime
  • 1 teaspoon of Rose water
 Ingredients for Pistachio filling and syrup:
  • 4 cups roasted lightly salted shelled pistachios (I used one from Costco, you can use unsalted ones)
  • 1/2 of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of Honey
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 teaspoon of Rose water
  • 1 teaspoon of Lemon juice

For Garnish:
The store bought one does not have garnish it is just plain white, but I wanted to add garnish this can be optional.
  • 1/4 cup of pistachios
  • 1/4 cup of powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoon of rose water

Method:

  • Preheat the oven at 200 degrees F
  • Line an Aluminum foil baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Place the Kataifi dough in it.
  • Separate the fine strands of dough, until each stand is separated and not bound together.
  • Drizzle the clarified butter  (Ghee) or melted unsalted butter on it.
  • Mix well fluffing the dough.
  • Place the pan in preheated oven.
  • Bake at 200 F for 10 min.
  • Fluff the dough in between and bake for additional 5 more min.
  • You can then take it out of oven and set aside.





  • While the dough is in oven you may want to prepare the syrup for the dough and start making the pistachio filling as well.





Method to prepare syrup for the dough:
  • In a pan mix one cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water.
  • Heat it on medium low heat, until sugar is melted.
  • Add lime juice. 
  • Simmer on medium low heat.
  • Once it comes to boil, simmer and reduce for 5 min.
  • When slightly cool add Rose water.
  • Set aside.







Method to prepare filling:
  • Place the pistachio in food processor bowl.
  • Grind them to desired coarseness.
  • Set aside.








Prepare syrup as follows:
  • In a large wok like pan mix, water, sugar and honey and lemon juice.
  • Heat it on stove at medium low heat.
  • When comes to boil, simmer at low heat and reduce for 4 min.
  • Add rose syrup.







  • When syrup is reduced add ground pistachios and mix well.




Method to put it all together:
  • Take the lightly baked dough in aluminum foil with parchment paper.
  • Drizzle the syrup (that you prepared first) all over the dough and gently mix well.
  • Grease as 10 x 13 glass pan grease it with melted Ghee or butter or cooking spray.
  • Take the dough mixed with syrup and layer it as bottom layer on greased glass pan. 
  • Try to line the fibers lengthwise as much as you can and press firmly down with back of cup.



  • Add filling on top of bottom layer of dough spread evenly.
  • Press it down firmly on to bottom layer of dough.
  • You may use  bottom of measuring cup to press it down. (grease the bottom of cup with butter or ghee before pressing down so the filling does not stick to bottom of the cup.




  • Then top with another layer of dough and spread evenly.
  • Again press it down firmly on to the filling.
  • Cover with parchment paper while you prep the garnish if desired.





For Garnish:
  • Grind pistachio in food process and mix powdered sugar with it.
  • Add rose water to it.
  • Garnish the top layer of dough with this mix.
  • Press firmly.

  • Cover with plastic wrap and parchment paper.
  • Place another small heavy pan and some weights on top and let it sit for 10 hours at room temp.












  • Next day remove the weights and parchment paper and plastic wrap.
  • With sharp knife cut in to desired sized squares and place them in baking cup and serve.












Enjoy !!



Information on Ballorieh Source:  http://www.mahroum-baklawa.com/ballorieh.html
Information on Baklava Source: http://www1.american.edu/ted/bakalav.html

Recipe and Photographs by Surekha.

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