Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I had a hankering for baklava the other day; so, I bought some phyllo pastry sheets, did an internet search to get ideas, and came up with the following

  • 1-1/2 pounds of nuts (I used 8 oz blanched almond slivers, 6 oz raw pistachios, 4 oz pecans, and 6 oz walnuts)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 2-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 pound phyllo pastry sheets (18 sheets, 13" x 17")
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup orange blossom honey
  • Peeling from 2 clementine oranges with white pulp scraped off and discarded (i.e. orange zest slices)
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 cinnamon stick, 2" long
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 9 x 13 pan
  • Food processor
  • Candy thermometer
  1. If phyllo pastry is frozen, thaw in refrigerator for 24 hours. Remove from refrigerator at least 1 hour ahead of time to let it come to room temperature
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  3. Cut phyllo pastry sheets in half cross wise so that you have a pile of 36 sheets 13" x 8.5"
  4. Finely chop nuts in food processor, mix in brown sugar ground cinnamon and cloves, set aside
  5. Brush bottom and sides of 13"x9" baking pan with melted butter
  6. Place a sheet of phylly pastry into pan and brush with butter. Repeat until there are 14 sheets.
  7. Spread 1/2 of the nut mixture on top of the pastry sheets
  8. Repeat placing phyllo pastry sheets brushed with butter for another 8 sheets
  9. Spread remaining 1/2 of nut mixture on top of pastry sheets
  10. Repeat placing phyllo pastry sheets brushed with butter for the remaining 14 sheets
  11. Using a sharp knife, carefully through the sheets into diamond shapes, about 5 or 7 diagonal cuts each direction
  12. Place in middle of oven and bake for 40 minutes, after about 20 minutes check and lightly cover with foil if it is starting to brown on top so as to not overcook the top. Remove from oven when done baking
  13. While the phyllo/nut assembly is baking, mixed all incredients for syrup, bring to a boil and cook until the temperature reaches 230 degrees (just under the soft ball stage)
  14. Remove orange peel, cinnamon stick, and whole cloves from syrup and gently pour syrup over the phyllo/nut assembly. Let stand several hours (or overnight) to let the syrup soak in and cool
  15. Using a sharp knife, gently re-cut the baklava and enjoy

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