Baklava

By / Photography By John F. Carafoli | June 26, 2017

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the syrup, boil sugar, honey, water, cinnamon stick, lemon juice, and lemon peel. Do not stir. As soon as it boils, leave it for 5 minutes and then remove from heat. Set aside to cool. (Lemon juice stops the syrup from crystallizing.)

Place the nuts and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse 8 to 10 times until coarsely chopped. Unfold the phyllo dough and cut it in half so it fits into the pan more easily. Cover the dough with a damp cloth to prevent it from drying out.

Brush the bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch pan with melted butter. Place a sheet of phyllo dough into the pan. Brush the phyllo sheets with melted butter. Repeat 7 more times until it is 8 sheets thick. Spoon on an even layer of the nut mixture. Cover with 3 more sheets of phyllo, brushing each one with butter and cover with an even layer of the nut mixture. Repeat adding 3 phyllo layers and 1 nut layer until you have about 5 sheets of phyllo remaining. Use those 5 sheets for the top layer, brushing each sheet with butter. Do not push the phyllo layers down with the pastry brush. Spread the butter lightly so that air remains in between the phyllo layers.

Put the pan in the freezer for 10 minutes to make it easier to cut. Remove from freezer, and with a sharp knife cut into

24 triangles. Bake for 45 minutes. When it is done, remove from oven and immediately spoon the cooled syrup evenly over the top of the baklava. Let it cool uncovered to keep it from getting soggy.

Ingredients

Ingredients for the syrup:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus peel from one lemon
  • 1 pound chopped nuts of your choice (usually walnuts)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 (16-ounce) package phyllo dough, thawed according to package instructions
  • 2 sticks of butter, melted
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