baklava pastry with coffee

Sticky-Sweet Baklava with Orange Blossom Honey

seaside taverna in cyprus

Cyprus! The glittering jewel of the mediterranean, birthplace of Aphrodite, the goddess the love. From the crystal clear waters of the ocean to the shady mountain villages, I love everything about this island and try my best to return each year. This is where I first fell for baklava and its sticky and indulgent sweetness. 

This rich dessert is found in almost every seaside or mountain taverna and each has its own special recipe. As a regular visitor to the island and to one taverna in particular, I am now considered almost part of the family. On my last vacation I was privileged enough for the old yiayia  (Grandma in Cypriot) to let me into their secret family recipe. I am infinitely lucky that she spent a pleasant afternoon under the olive trees showing me how to perfect this honey dessert.

Honey is sold in abundance on the island from local shops or roadside stalls on the winding tracks to the mountains, usually surrounded by a few stray cats, lazy sleeping dogs and wizened old men drinking the super strong Cypriot coffee and playing Tavley (backgammon). 

The honey comes in a variety of subtle flavors, from Lavender to Orange Blossom and even Eucalyptus. Much of the honey is in its raw form and therefore retains its super-nutritious and healing properties. My personal favorite in baklava is Orange Blossom, but this recipe is divine with any variety!

I’m excited to share my special recipe for baklava with you. Yiayia informed me that this recipe has been passed down for many generations and is made year-round, using the honey that is in season. 

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. It is a little time consuming, but it is made with love and the gooey stickiness is so worth the wait.

Καλή όρεξη (Enjoy!)

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