This is a FANTASTIC recipe. I made it for my church. Received a lot good compliments !! Whatever you do, you HAVE to give this dish a try. Don’t forget the Cardamom!
The Best Baklava
Total Time: 1 hr 20 min
Prep: 40 min
Cook: 40 min
Yield:about 36 (1 1/2-inch) pieces of baklava
For the Syrup:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup honey
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 (1-inch) strip lemon zest
- Pinch ground cloves
- Pinch ground cardamom
For the filling and dough:
- 1 pound walnuts, or a combination of walnuts, pistachios and almonds
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 pound phyllo, thawed according to package instructions
- Remove phyllo dough package from freezer and place in the fridge for 24 hours to thaw.
Remove from fridge approximately 1 hour before using.
- To make the syrup:
- Combine the sugar, honey, water, lemon juice, cinnamon sticks, lemon zest, cloves and cardamom in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the syrup is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks and lemon zest and set syrup aside to cool.
- Using knife, finely chop the nuts or if you have a food processor, pulse the nuts until finely chopped
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the nuts, cinnamon, and salt and stir well to combine.
- Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan.
Brush, lightly coat a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with some of the melted butter.
- Measure the phyllo sheets; If they are larger than your baking dish, use a sharp knife to cut the phyllo sheets approximately the same size as your baking dish.
- Discard any scraps.
- Cover the sheets with a piece of plastic wrap and a lightly damp kitchen towel, as the sheets of phyllo dry out very quickly if left uncovered.
- Position rack in center of oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place 1 of the sheets of phyllo in the bottom of the buttered baking dish and lightly brush with some of the melted butter.
Repeat this procedure with 6 more sheets of phyllo, for a total of 7 layers.
- Measure about 3/4 cup of the nut mixture and spread the nut mixture evenly over the buttered phyllo sheets. Repeat with 7 more sheets of phyllo, buttering each layer as before, and top these sheets with another 3/4 cup of the nut mixture.
- Continue this layering process, buttering 7 sheets of phyllo and topping each 7 sheets with 3/4 cup of the nuts, until you have used all of the nut mixture.
- Layer any remaining sheets of phyllo on top, buttering between each layer, until all of the phyllo sheets have been used.
- Use a sharp knife to make 4 cuts lengthwise through the layered phyllo at 1 1/2 inch intervals. (You should end up with 5 lengthwise strips 1 1/2 inches wide.) Now use your knife to cut diagonally across the strips at 1 1/2-inch intervals to form diamond shapes. You should end up with approximately 36 diamond-shaped pieces of baklava in the baking dish.
- Note: Can cut into squares. I prefer squares.
- Bake the baklava until golden brown, about 40 minutes.
Remove the baklava from the oven and set aside on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Using a ladle or small measuring cup, slowly drizzle the cooled syrup over the warm baklava. Allow to stand several hours before serving.
Recipe By Emeril Lagasse