September 1, 2010
1 ½ lbs finely-chopped nuts
(pistachios, walnuts and/or almonds)*
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 ¼ cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon lemon zest (or 1 tablespoon lemon juice)
1. Pre-heat oven to 350º F
2. Butter the top and sides of a 9” x 13” baking pan
3. Toss chopped nuts with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and 1 tablespoon sugar; set aside
4. Unroll phyllo dough; cover with damp cloth to prevent drying out.
5. Place 2 sheets of phyllo dough in bottom of pan. Brush with melted butter.
(Repeat 4 times - 10 layers total)
6. Sprinkle 2-3 teaspoons nut mixture on top. Cover with 2 sheet phyllo dough. Brush with melted butter. Repeat until nut mixture is gone. You should have about 10 sheets left for the top layer. Add remaining sheets and brush with melted butter.
7. Using a thin, sharp knife to slice through all the way to the bottom, cut baklava into even squares. Then cut each square diagonally into two triangles.
8. Place baklava in oven. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until baklava is crisp and golden brown.
9. While baklava is baking, combine water and sugar for syrup mixture. Bring just to a boil, so sugar is well-dissolved, then drop the temperature to medium. Add honey and let simmer about 20 minutes. Reduce to low heat, stir in vanilla extract and lemon zest (or juice), then keep syrup mixture warm.
10. When baklava is finished baking, remove from oven and evenly spoon on syrup mixture while still hot. (Use caution when spooning on syrup - it may bubble and spit)
11. Place uncovered on cooling rack. Allow to cool completely. Do not cover tightly or baklava will become soggy. Freezes well.
* I recommend using 1 cup of pistachios and ¼ cup each of walnuts and almonds. Pistachios are traditional, walnuts
(If anybody makes this, I'd love to hear about it - even send some pics!)