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Recipe: Lemon vanilla custard baklava with orange blossom syrup

Try this recipe for a light and buttery desert with a fruity twist

Image Credit: Supplied
Lemon vanilla custard baklava with orange blossom syrup
  • Category:  Desserts
  • Cuisine:  International
  • Preparation time:   25 minutes
  • Cooking time:   60 minutes
  • Total time:  1 hour 25 minutes
  • Serves:  8-10
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  • For the lemon syrup

  • 250g caster sugar
  • 250ml water
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 tbsp orange blossom flower water

    For the baklava

  • 4 eggs
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 750ml milk
  • 200ml fine semolina
  • 100g butter, melted, plus extra for brushing
  • 3 lemons, juice and zest
  • 2 vanilla pods, seeds scraped
  • 250g filo pastry sheets


  1. To make the syrup, in a pan, dissolve sugar in water over medium heat until the mixture becomes syrupy. Add lemon juice, zest and orange blossom water. Stir and allow to cool completely.
  2. To prepare baklava, preheat oven to 180˚C (fan oven). Half-fill a pan (large enough to sit a mixing bowl on top of) with water and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer.
  3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, beat together eggs and sugar. In a separate pan, boil milk. Remove from heat and whisk in egg and sugar mixture. Stir in semolina and transfer to a heat-proof mixing bowl.
  4. Place bowl on top of pan of simmering water and stir for 10 to 15 minutes, gradually adding melted butter, until mixture thickens to a custard. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, zest and vanilla.
  5. Butter a 20x30cm ovenproof dish. Lay a single filo sheet inside, cutting or adding pastry to cover the base of the dish, then brush with butter. Repeat, brushing with butter as you go, until you have used half the sheets. Pour in custard and layer in the rest of the sheets, buttering between each sheet.
  6. Using a sharp knife, cut any pattern you desire all the way through pastry, then bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Reduce heat to 160˚C and bake for a further 30 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and pour cooled lemon syrup over top. Allow to set for at least 4 hours and serve cold.