Orange and vanilla baklava

Serves: 10–12 Prepare & Cook:


  • 350g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 2 tbsp orange blossom water
  • 2 large oranges
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds only
  • 1 tbsp orange marmalade
  • 100g shelled pistachios
  • 400g filo pastry
  • 150g butter, melted


  • Put the sugar, orange juice and 350ml water in a saucepan and gently bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the orange blossom water and leave to cool to room temperature.
  • Bring a large saucepan of water to a rapid simmer and add the whole oranges. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for 45–50 minutes, until the fruit is soft. Remove the oranges with a slotted spoon and leave to cool.
  • Slice open the oranges and blend to a purée in a food processor (skins included). Add the vanilla seeds and marmalade and mix well.
  • Crush or blend three-quarters of the pistachios to a fine powder. Roughly slice the remaining nuts. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Cut the filo sheets to fit a baking tray about 12cm x 25cm. Brush the tray with a little melted butter. Layer half the filo sheets, one by one, in the tray, brushing butter on each (we use 8–10 sheets here). Do not press down; the sheets should lie loosely.
  • Spoon the orange and vanilla purée evenly over the filo layers. Layer the remaining 8–10 filo sheets on top, brushing with butter as before, and this time sprinkling a little pistachio powder between each layer.
  • Cut the uncooked baklava into small squares then bake for 35 minutes, until golden and crisp.
  • Remove from the oven and slowly pour the cooled syrup over the hot baklava, making sure it seeps into every little gap. Sprinkle the sliced pistachios over the top.

Top Tip

When you are cooking the oranges, make sure the water doesn't come to the boil as this may cause the skin to burst.

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