Use This Trick to Make Baklava for a Smaller Crowd

Perfectly portioned sweets only require a simple tool from the hardware store.

December 09, 2020

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The holiday table is looking to be more intimate this year, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice festivity for scale. While we all love taking a few bites of an array of pies, cakes and puddings, a single, whimsical dessert – portioned exactly to the number of people at the table – can be just as spirited. One such dessert? Maura Kilpatrick’s Pistachio Birds’ Nests.

In her 5-minute class, available on the Food Network Kitchen app, Maura takes us through this fun form of baklava. Typically, baklava is made in sheets, and you’re often left with a large batch of the sweet treat. But with Maura’s method, you can save you and your family from slaving through way too many leftovers, and instead, make as many bird’s nest-shaped baklavas as there are diners.

The secret to shaping the nests is a wooden dowel, which can be found at hardware or craft stores. Maura takes sheets of phyllo, and loosely rolls the dough around the dowel. Then, she slides the dough off the dowel and shapes the wrinkled roll into a circle, pressing down on its center to make room for the pistachios. After baking until golden, the nests are filled with the nuts and soaked in a lemon syrup. And that’s it! You’ve got stunningly simple yet elegant desserts, tailored for your table.

The key to these pastries is nailing down the dough shaping technique – watch the process for yourself on the Food Network Kitchen app!

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