‘The Pioneer Woman’: Ree Drummond’s Baklava Recipe Is an Impressive Dessert Idea

Ree Drummond makes a homemade baklava recipe packed with sweet, nutty flavors that looks impressive but couldn’t be simpler. The Pioneer Woman star shared her pro tips for the dessert, including how to make working with phyllo dough easy.

Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond smiles and looks on wearing a pink shirt
‘The Pioneer Woman’ star Ree Drummond | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Ree Drummond shared her homemade baklava recipe

Drummond wrote about her baklava recipe in a 2020 post on The Pioneer Woman website. “Baklava is yummy … but it’s yummiest when it’s homemade,” she wrote. “And it doesn’t have to be my home that makes it. It can be anyone’s home. I just think homemade baklava tends to have a little more flavor … a little more freshness … a little more somethin’ somethin’ than a lot of the baklava you buy.”

She continued, “Not that I buy a lot of baklava in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. But still.”

The Food Network host noted how the dessert is a great food to give as a gift, too.

She also offered up one quick tip about working with phyllo dough. “It’s sold in frozen packages, so you need to remove the package from the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge 24 hours before you want to make the baklava,” Drummond advised. “Then, about an hour beforehand, remove the package from the fridge and let it sit on the counter.”

How to make Ree Drummond’s baklava

Drummond demonstrated how to make her baklava on an episode of The Pioneer Woman. “Baklava is so delicious — flaky layers, sugary nuts,” she said. “It’s really sticky, and usually it’s something that you just get at bakeries, but it’s actually really easy to make at home.”

She combined chopped pecans and cinnamon in a bowl, then buttered a 9 x 13 inch pan.

Drummond kept phyllo dough under a damp towel to prevent it from drying out. She placed two sheets of the dough in the pan, brushed the top later with melted butter, then added another two sheets, brushed with butter, added two more sheets, and brushed with butter again.

Phyllo takes a little bit of practice to work with,” she explained. “The only thing you need to remember is it does dry out really fast. So if you work fast and get the butter on there pretty soon, it’ll be just fine.”

She sprinkled on the pecans and continued to build the dessert with another layer of phyllo, buttered it, sprinkled on more nuts, and repeated the process to build up six more layers of buttered phyllo. The Food Network host brushed the top layer with butter.

‘The Pioneer Woman’ star cut the dessert and baked it

Drummond cut the baklava before baking it, beginning at one corner and cutting it diagonally to the other corner. She repeated the process to make diagonal cuts.

“It’s not very easy to cut baklava after it comes out of the oven so this is your chance,” she said. “You don’t want to rush this stage. You don’t want to drag the knife through because it’ll tear all that beautiful phyllo dough. It takes a little bit of time.”

She baked the dessert in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 45 minutes then made an easy sauce.

Drummond combined butter, honey, water, sugar, and vanilla extract in a saucepan and heated it until it boiled. She poured the syrup over the baklava, making sure to allow it to settle into the edges and the cuts, then allowed the dessert to cool.

The full recipe is available on the Food Network website.

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