We had our ‘1st Annual’ Christmas Party over the weekend and the baklava was a hit. Brock and his Dad started making this together years ago and the only thing I changed was to halve the syrup recipe. Also keep in mind that this has to be made the day before.
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 c. water (if you double this recipe, use 1 3/4 c.)
grated orange rind from half of a large orange
grated lemon rind from half of a lemon
5 whole cloves AND 1 cinnamon stick
1/2 c. liquid honey
Combine all of the ingredients except the honey in a saucepan and bring to a boil while stirring. Simmer it, uncovered, for a good 5 minutes then remove the pot from the heat, remove the spices and stir in the honey.
Cool the syrup to room temperature.
1 package of phyllo pastry, thawed
3/4 lb. or about 1 1/2 c. butter, melted
1 c. EACH pecans AND salted, shelled, pistachio nuts
1/2 c. EACH blanched almonds AND berry or super fine sugar
1 t. EACH ground nutmeg AND cinnamon
In a food processor, combine the nuts, sugar and spices until all are well mixed and very finely ground. Prepare a 9 x 13 inch baking pan by brushing it with butter and preheat the oven to 300.
Be ready to go, have the nuts, melted butter and your pan ready before you open the phyllo, it dries out quickly!
Place a layer of phyllo to cover the bottom of the pan, trimmed to fit, and then brush with butter, do this 5 times so that there are 5 layers of phyllo, all with butter brushed between. Sprinkle evenly over the 5th layer, 1/4 of the nut mixture.
Place a layer of phyllo, then brush with butter, do this 5 times so that there are 5 layers of phyllo, all with butter brushed between. In the end, you’ll have 5 layers of 5 sheets of phyllo, and in between all you’ll have 4 layers of the nut mixture.
Drizzle any extra butter over the final layer of phyllo. Bake at 300 for 1 1/2 hours. **Epiphany – cut the baklava before you bake it!! – it will taste the same no matter which way you choose, but you truly get a work of art if the pan is cut into diamonds, extra butter drizzled between the cuts. The syrup still goes on after it comes out of the oven. I can’t believe this came to me so late in the game**
As soon as it comes out of the oven, you need to cut it – this is aggravating. It will feel like you’re ruining how it looks, but it doesn’t matter! Start by making an ‘x’ from corner to corner then continue cutting into serving size diamonds or triangles. I find that using a serrated knife and keeping an oven mitt on my other hand to try and manage the phyllo that’s trying to jump out while it’s being cut, worked the best.
Once it’s all cut, carefully and evenly pour the room temperature syrup over all of it and then let it sit – covered after it’s cooled – until you serve it the next day.
- Category: Make-ahead, Phyllo