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. Absolutely no doubt that once you try this you’ll wonder where it’s been your whole life!
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 c. water (if you double this recipe, use 1 3/4 c.)
grated orange rind from BOTH a large orange AND a large lemon
5 whole cloves AND 1 cinnamon stick
1/2 c. liquid honey
1 package (454 g) of phyllo pastry, thawed in the fridge overnight
3/4 lb. or about 1 1/2 c. butter, melted – I find this easier to do in a small pot, then there’s a handle as you need to maneuver this when putting the pastry together
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
For the syrup – 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. Leave the syrup to cool to room temperature while the baklava bakes.
For the baklava – 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. My usual set up is to lay down a large piece of parchment and then place the pan and all bits on it as no matter what you do, butter will fly.
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 (or, if it’s a full sheet, lay it down so half it covering the bottom of the pan, butter it, and then fold it over, and butter it again – voilà, that’s 2 sheets) and then brush with butter, do this 5 times so that there are 5 (or 6) 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(or 6) sheets of phyllo, and in between all you’ll have 4 layers of the nut mixture.
Cut the baklava before you bake it!! – we prefer diamond shapes but anything will work – drizzle any remaining melted butter between all of the slices. Bake at 300 for 1 1/2 hours.
Once it’s out of the oven, 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. Enjoy!
- Category: Make-ahead, Phyllo