With a light version of baklava, you can splurge without guilt

March 14, 1993|By Los Angeles Times Syndicate

This rich-tasting baklava contains half the amount of sugar and a fraction of the fat you would normally use, thanks to reduced fats, sugar and nuts. The results will fool anyone.

Baklava

Makes 35 pieces.

1/2 pound shelled pistachio nuts, ground

1 tablespoon sugar

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 tablespoons rose water

1/2 pound phyllo dough

1/2 cup low-calorie margarine, melted

rose water syrup (see below)

whole cloves, optional

Combine pistachio nuts, sugar, cinnamon and rose water in small bowl. Using half the phyllo sheets (cover remaining with plastic wrap to prevent drying out), place three sheets in bottom of lightly greased 13-by-9-inch baking sheet. Brush with some of margarine. Sprinkle evenly with nut mixture. Place remaining sheets over nut filling, brushing after every third sheet and top sheet.

Cut baklava at 1 1/2 -inch intervals diagonally to form pattern of about 35 diamond shapes. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, or until golden. Place on wire rack to cool. Drizzle rose water syrup evenly over top and allow to soak several hours. Stud each diamond-shape with whole clove.

Note: Phyllo dough and rose water are available at freezer sections of many markets, Middle Eastern grocery stores and gourmet food shops.

Rose water syrup

1 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon rose water or rum extract

Combine water and sugar in small saucepan. Bring to boil, about 30 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and rose water. Cool completely.

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