Baklava

  • Active Time 25m
  • Total Time 2h

Makes about 36 pieces

Both the Greeks and the Turks lay claim to this masterpiece of the Middle Eastern sweets repertoire. Baklava can be made with walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts (filberts) or pistachios or a combination of walnuts and almonds. Sticky honey syrups are never used by Greek and Turkish bakers; instead, they prepare a simple sugar syrup flavored with lemon juice and zest.

ingredients

  • 4 cups almonds, walnuts or equal parts almonds and walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 pound clarified unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 pound filo dough, thawed in the refrigerator if frozen
  • For the Lemon Syrup:
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 lemon zest strips, each 3 inches long
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the nuts, sugar, cinnamon and cloves in a bowl.

Lightly brush a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan with some of the melted butter. Remove the filo sheets from their package, lay them flat on a work surface and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out. Lay a filo sheet in the prepared pan and brush it lightly with butter. Working with 1 sheet at a time, top with 1/2 of the remaining filo sheets (10-12 sheets), brushing each sheet with butter after it is placed in the pan. Spread the nut mixture evenly over the stacked filo sheets. Then top with the remaining filo sheets, again brushing each sheet lightly with butter, including the top sheet. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes so the butter will set. (This step makes the baklava easier to cut.)

Using a sharp knife, cut the baklava all the way through into diamond shapes, forming about 36 pieces in all. Bake until golden, about 35-40 minutes.

FOR THE SYRUP:

Combine the water, sugar and lemon zest in a deep saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove the lemon zest and discard. Stir in the lemon juice.

When the baklava is done, remove it from the oven. Pour the hot syrup evenly over the hot pastry. Let stand for 30 minutes to cool slightly, then recut the diamonds. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store leftover pieces covered at room temperature.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 707

nutrition information per serving

236 calories; 14g total fat; 14mg cholesterol; 64mg sodium; 25g carbohydrates; 2g fiber; 4g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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