Thursday, February 12, 2009


I have eaten a lot of baklava and have found this recipe to produce the finest quality pastry yet. This baklava recipe Makes 2 dozen pieces. The recipe has 2 parts. The first is for the baklava and the 2nd is for the syrup that goes on the baklava when it comes out of the oven.
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup finely chopped pistachio nuts
1/2 cup finely chopped, blanched almonds, toasted
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 lb. butter melted
1 pkg. filo pastry sheets

Combine nuts, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Brush a 13x9x2 baking pan well with butter. Separate 25 filo pastry sheets from package. Place under a smooth (not terrycloth), damp towel so filo does not dry out. Wrap remaining filo well and freeze for future use. Place one filo sheet in pan. Trim to fit. Brush generously with melted butter. Repeat procedure until there are 5 layers of buttered filo in the pan. Sprinkle 1/4 of nut mixture over buttered filo sheets. Butter and layer 5 more filo sheets. Sprinkle with 1/4 of nut mixture. Repeat this procedure two more times, ending with the top of the pastry consisting of 5 sheets of filo. Drizzle and remaining butter over the top. Bake in 300 degree F oven for 1-1/2 hours or until golden brown. Remove baklava from oven. Using a sharp knife, immediately cut long, diagonal lines from corner to corner, forming an "x". Follow these guidelines to cut baklava into serving sized diamonds. While still hot, pour cooled syrup over baklava.

2-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/4 cups water
finely grated rind of 1 orange
finely grated rind of 1 lemon
5 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup honey

Combine sugar, water, orange and lemon rinds, cloves and cinnamon stick in saucepan. Bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes to thicken syrup slightly. Remove from heat. Discard spices. Stir in honey. Cool at room temperature. Pour over hot baklava. Allow to stand overnight before serving.

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