Treat Yourself to a Baklava Ice Cream Sundae
Somebody was commenting on how delicious the baklava ice cream sundaes were at St. George's Greek Food Festival in Dartmouth.
I had to agree.
This easy creation is worthy of everyone living over at Mount Olympus Resort. It features crushed baklava basking in creamy vanilla ice cream and warm honey drizzled over the top, or you might like to try a simple and equally as mouthwatering version of a baklava sundae a la Phil.
You can make such great-looking and scrumptious baklava sundaes by baking the frozen cup-shaped phyllo found in the frozen section of most grocery stores. Half of your creation is done. You love this, right?
Mix together some brown sugar, ground cinnamon, a very light tap of ground cloves, crushed walnuts and honey. Warm these ingredients, but not hot. Add a tablespoon or two of water if needed. If you like it less sweet, squeeze a little fresh lemon to the mix.
Spoon in enough to fill the bottom of the phyllo cup, add a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, and drizzle the top with the same warm medley. Experiment with the amounts of brown sugar, nuts and spices to suit your liking.
In my upbringing, we like to explain the history of things like baklava, which began a long time ago. In fact, one version of the story claims baklava originated from the very powerful Assyrians as early as the 8th Century BC.
In the 15th Century, after the Ottoman Empire conquered Constantinople (now Istanbul), they also defeated my ancestors of the Paleologos Dynasty. After that, the Turks had 500 years to perfect baklava until the Greeks won back their own country.
In Watertown, there's a large Armenian community. The Armenians influenced baklava by adding that wonderful aroma of cinnamon and cloves.
Further east, the Arabs introduced rose water and orange blossom water.
In Persia, now Iran, confectioners invented the diamond-shape cut with the knife scented with jasmine.
The Lebanese culture has used pistachios in the mix.
From Egypt throughout the Middle East and across the Mediterranean, baklava is a world favorite.
By the way, phyllo in Greek means leaf, as in thin as a leaf. The Greeks have a word for everything.