With Easter just around the corner, this would be a terrific and, yes, traditional treat. Use it for a dessert at your Brunch Buffet or Easter dinner.
It can be long in time to make, so make it up to a week ahead of when you want to serve it. As long as it is in an airtight container and not put in the refrigerator, it will be wonderful and delicious with no harm done.
*Note: Do not crush the nuts in a food processor. Just chop them. If put in a processor, they made the Baklava very heavy and not pleasant, as it should be. Just sayin’.
Read through first, then make your syrup before working with the phyllo.
- 3 1/4 cups whole almonds, skins on, finely chopped
- 2 1/3 cups walnuts, finely chopped
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon
- 2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 x 1 lb. pkg of phyllo dough, thawed
Whisk together the almonds, walnuts, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt until really well combined.
Generously brush a 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish with melted butter.
Halve the phyllo sheets and keep covered with 2 layers of plastic wrap and then topped with a damp tea towel (of course, clean). Lay 2 sheets of phyllo in the bottom of the baking dish and generously brush with butter. Continue layering 2 sheets at a time staggering sheets every two layers slightly to cover the bottom of the dish, until you have 10 layers in total.
When you have brushed the top layer with butter, spread 1 1/2 cups nut mixture over it and drizzle with 2 tbsp. butter. Do this step 3 more times. Oh, by the way, when done you should have 50 layers of phyllo. Butter the top and let stand 15 minutes to allow it to harden a little.
Now the fun…..with a very sharp knife, cut in 16 diagonal rectangles, then cut each piece in half diagonally. You must ensure you cut all the way through.
Bake this until golden (55 – 60 minutes) in a 350 degree oven.
- 2 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 lemon, halved
- 1 orange,halved
- 1 lime, halved
- 1 1/2 cinnamon sticks
- 2/3 cup honey
Combine the sugar and water in a 3 qt. saucepan. Squeeze the juice from the fruit into the sugar mixture. Add the fruit halves and cinnamon sticks and bring to a boil, stirring often until the sugar has dissolved. Let cool to room temperature and pour through a sieve, pressing on the fruit halves and then discard all the solids.
Chill, uncovered, until cold. (about an hour).
Now, SLOWLY pour the cold syrup over the Baklava, getting into all the cuts, sides and all over the top. Now, let this stand for 8 hours. Once the Baklava has reached room temperature, cover with plastic. Do not chill.
Beyond your dreams? Absolutely.
Will you enjoy this? More than you will ever know.