Tuesday, June 21, 2011


A Greek friend of mine had her sister teach a group of us how to make baklava. It's not too hard a process, just a long one, but the end result is well worth the time!

1 lb. pecans, walnuts, almonds, or pistachios, finely chopped
1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 lb. phyllo dough
1 lb. butter, melted

3 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. water
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 c. honey

Combine the chopped nuts with the 1/2 c. sugar and the cinnamon; set aside.

Open box of phyllo, placing the thin dough sheets on a sheet of parchment or wax paper. Cover the dough with another sheet of wax paper, and cover that with a damp towel to keep the dough moist.

Line the bottom of a buttered 9x12 pan with 10-12 sheets of phyllo, brushing each sheet with melted butter as you go.

Sprinkle the top of the 10-12 sheets with a thin layer of the nut mixture.

Cover with 3 more phyllo sheets, brushing each sheet with melted butter; sprinkle with more nut mixture. Repeat once more, making a total of 3 nut mixture layers.

Cover with remaining phyllo, brushing each sheet with butter.

Chill for 25 minutes; make syrup: Combine 3 c. sugar, water, and lemon juice in medium saucepan. Boil for 10 minutes. Slowly add honey and simmer an additional 5 minutes. Let cool completely while baklava bakes. (*The syrup must be cool when you pour it over the hot baklava.)

Cut the uncooked pastry into small diamond shapes by cutting lengthwise strips, then diagonal strips. Brush with melted butter.

Bake at 325 degrees for about an hour and a half, or until slightly browned.

Remove from oven, recut along original cut marks, then slowly pour syrup over the hot baklava until it is completely absorbed. You may not need all the syrup.

Cool baklava completely before serving.

Since the baklava is preserved with honey, it will last at room temperature in a tightly closed container for several days, but it's best to refrigerate unused portions. Baklava can be refrigerated for several weeks.

Optional: Whole cloves can be stuck into each diamond shape before baking. Be sure they are removed before serving.

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