Baklava

Makes 3 dozen

  • 3 cups finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ground cloves
  • 1-1/2 cups clarified butter*, divided
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 package (16 oz.) filo pastry sheets
  • Honey Syrup

Combine walnutes and spices in medium bowl. Reserve 1/2 cup clarified butter for brushing top and bottom layers; stir honey into remaining 1 cup butter. Brush bottom of 13x9x2-inch baking pan with clarified butter. Cut filo sheets in half crosswise; trim to 13×9-inch rectangles. Cover filo with waxed paper and damp towel to keep from drying out. Line pan with 10 sheets of filo, brushing each with clarified butter; sprinkle with 1/3 cup walnut mixture. Place 2 sheets filo on top of walnut layer, brushing each with honey-butter mixture. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup walnuut mixture. Repeat, layering 2 sheets filo, brushing each with honey-butter mixture and sprinkling with 1/3 cup walnut mixture until all nut mixture is used. Top with remaining file sheets, brushing each with clarified butter. With sharp knife, cut baklava into diamond-shaped pieces, carefully cutting through all layers. Bake in preheated 325°F oven 45 minutes. Reduce heat to 275°F and bake 20 minutes more. Remove from oven; while still hot, carefully spoon cool Honey Syrup over entire surface. *To clarify butter, cut 1 lb. butter into pieces and melt in medium saucepan over medium heat. Skim off foam; strain clear yellow liquid into a bowl, leaving cloudy residue in bottom of pan.

Tip: Baklava may be wrapped in foil or placed in freezer-safe containers and frozen. To serve, place unwrapped thawed baklava on baking sheet; bake in preheated 325°F over 12 minutes or until heated and crisp on top. Cool before serving.

Honey Syrup

Makes

  • 1 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick, 3 inches long
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

Combine honey, water, lemon peel, cloves and cinnamon in small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes. Add lemon juice; simmer 5 minutes more. Remove from heat; cool. Remove cloves and cinnamon before using.

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