World's Best Baklava

March 7th 2013

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My Dad is Greek, so ever since I can remember we have had Baklava for Christmas. This is my version i’ve created through years of eating my mom’s and other ladies varieties. This recipe can be made ahead, and freezes well! A delicious and impressive gift idea, utilizing simple and accessible ingredients!
Baklava:
20 Sheets pre-made frozen Phyllo, Thawed
2 stick unsalted butter
1 lb walnuts, pulsed in food processor
½ lb pistachios, roughly chopped
1 ½ Cup Brown sugar
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cloves
1 Cup melted unsalted butter
Syrup:
1 Cup granulated sugar
½ Cup water
1 Cup Honey
juice of lemon (use the one you zested)
juice of orange (use the one you zested)
2 cinnamon sticks
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
In a bowl combine brown sugar, walnuts, pistachios, zests, and spices.
Using melted butter, butter the bottom and sides of a 13x9 inch pan. Layer one sheet of phyllo, brush with melted butter. Repeat till you have seven layers. Top with one cup of nut mixture. Layer, butter three more layers of phyllo. Place 1 Cup of nut mixture aside. Use the rest of nut mixture to cover the layers of buttered phyllo. Top with three more butter phyllo layers. Use the remaining 1 cup of nut mixture. Top with remaining phyllo layers, and throughly butter the top.
Cut top layer of phyllo into desired pattern, cut verically into four rows, then horizontally into five rows, then cut each square on the bias.I like to put whole cloves in the middle of each piece. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown.
While baklava bakes make syrup by combining sugar and water in a small sauce pan till bubbling and all sugar is dissolved, add honey and cinnamon. Remove from heat add citrus juices. Cool.
Top cooled baklava with syrup and cut. Should make about 40 pieces
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