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Prairie Baklava

Chef Talia Syrie, 
The Tallest Poppy

This traditional Greek pastry gets a Syrie-family makeover with roasted pumpkin seeds.

1 lb package frozen phyllo
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar mixed with
1 1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
2 1/2 cups unsalted roasted pumpkin seeds, lightly

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup liquid Manitoba honey


  1. Thaw phyllo.
  2. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  3. Line 11″ by 13″ pan with parchment paper. Using a pastry brush, paint parchment paper with melted butter.
  4. Take one sheet of phyllo, fold it in half, lay it in pan.
  5. Using pastry brush, lightly paint phyllo sheet with melted butter.
  6. Sprinkle about 1 1/2 Tbsp of cinnamon/sugar mixture evenly onto buttered surface.
  7. Repeat steps 4 to 6, two times to create 3 double layers of phyllo.
  8. Sprinkle 1/2  to 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds evenly over the top layer, spreading the seeds to the phyllo edges.
  9. Take one sheet of phyllo, fold it in half, and place it on top. Brush it with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mixture.
  10. Repeat steps 8 and 9, three more times for a total of 4 layers of pumpkin seeds.
  11. Fold each of the (3-4) remaining phyllo sheets in half, place on the baklava, brush with butter, and layer with cinnamon and sugar. Brush butter on the top sheet.
  12. Score baklava into squares before baking.
  13. Bake for 30-35 mins or until medium golden brown.
  14. Prepare syrup while baking.


  1. In a heavy sauce pan over medium heat, simmer water, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add honey and simmer for 20-25 mins.
  3. Remove from heat and immediately pour on the hot baklava, making sure to coat the score marks and the top surface.
  4. Leave uncovered overnight and slice before serving.

Yield 15 pieces


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