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LOCATION: Recipes >> Middle Eastern >> Baklava 14

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Baklava

3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1 2/3 cups honey
1 stick cinnamon (2" long)
4 slices lemon
4 slices orange
1 tablespoon orange blossom water (optional)

2 cups pecans, finely chopped
1 cup almonds, finely chopped
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 pound phyllo dough
1/2 pound butter, melted

Combine sugar and water in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil,
stirring to dissolve sugar. Add honey, cinnamon, lemon, and orange
slices. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Strain the syrup.
Add orange blossom water. (Sometimes available with spices or
baking supplies or in a gourmet food store.) Cool the syrup. Mix
the pecan, almonds, sugar and spices. (You can substitute whatever
nuts you prefer--walnuts or hazelnuts are nice.)

Butter a 9"x13" baking pan. (NOTE: I have made this in large
half-sheet size jelly roll pans. The phyllo fits perfectly, but
you should increase the amount of nut filling by about half.)
Stack the phyllo on a flat surface. Cover with wax paper or a very
slightly damp cloth to keep the phyllo from drying out while working.
You will need to work quickly at this point! An extra pair of hands
is helpful. Place the melted butter nearby. Place two sheets of
phyllo in the pan. Brush with melted butter. Place two more sheets
of phyllo on top of this. Brush every other sheet with melted
butter. When approximately 2/3 of the phyllo dough has been layered
and buttered, pour the nut mixture onto the phyllo and spread
evenly. Fold over any overlapping phyllo leaves--trim if necessary.
Place remaining sheets of phyllo on top, one at a time, brushing
each with butter. Brush top with butter.

With a sharp knife, cut through the top layers to the filling on
the diagonal: make cuts at 1 1/2-inch intervals, then cut in the
opposite direction to form diamonds. Be sure to leave the bottom
layers of the dough uncut. Bake at 325 degrees F until golden and
puffy, about 30 minutes. Turn off the heat, but leave it in the
oven for another 30 minutes or so. Pour the cooled syrup over the
hot baklava. Using the same diamond pattern, cut through the bottom
layers of the dough. Befroe serving, let pan cool on a wire rack
to absorb the syrup.

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