What was our favorite thing about our trip to Abigail Street? It may well have been the dessert:
2½ pounds butter
2¾ cups sugar, divided
4 cups shelled pistachios
2 boxes filo dough
1 Tablespoon rose water
1½ cups water
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, slowly melt the butter. In the bowl of a food processor, combine 2½ cups sugar with the pistachios and finely blend.
2. Once the butter has melted, clarify it by removing the solids that have risen to the top. Remove filo dough from one box and unroll onto a cutting board. Using a pastry brush, paint a thin layer of butter on a medium sheet pan. Place one filo sheet evenly on pan, gently butter the sheet, and repeat with remaining sheets from the first box.
3. Evenly layer pistachio mixture on top of the buttered filo. Once the mix is packed in tightly and evenly, gently spoon about a half-cup of butter directly over the nuts,
making sure to cover all of the mixture. Unroll the second box of filo and repeat the same method as before (butter, filo, butter, filo, etc.) until all sheets are layered over the nuts.
4. With a sharp knife, gently cut three even lines the length of the pan and three even lines the width of the tray—this should give you a grid with 16 equal pieces. Then cut each square in half on the diagonal to make 32 triangles. Baste the top once more with butter and place in oven on the middle rack. Bake 30 minutes, or until golden and crispy.
5. While baklava is baking, bring 1½ cups water, ¼ cup sugar, and rose water to a gentle boil in a small saucepan. When baklava is done, remove it from the oven and slowly, carefully pour the rose-water syrup over the top, saturating the whole sheet. Allow to cool for 30 minutes, remove from tray, and top with powdered sugar. Serve with Turkish coffee.
1214 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 421-4040, abigailstreet.com
Originally published in the March 2015 issue.