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Baklava

3 1/2 c granulated sugar
2 1/2 c water
2 tb honey
1 lemon rind
1 stick cinnamon
4 whole cloves
1 1/4 lb walnuts and/or blanched almonds, chopped finely
2 ts ground cinnamon
1 ts ground cloves
1 1/2 lb filo sheets
1 lb sweet butter; melted

Combine 3 cups sugar, the water, honey, whole lemon rind, and whole
spices in a saucepan and bring to boil. Lower the heat and simmer
for 15 minutes, then remove the lemon peel and spices and cool.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the nuts, remaining 1/2 cup
sugar, and ground spices and set aside. Lay filo sheets flat,
cover with waxed paper and then a damp towel. Keep covered except
when removing to assemble the baklava. Count 8 filo sheets, fold,
cover and refrigerate to reserve for the top. Using a large pastry
brush, butter an 11 1/2-inch by 15 1/2-inch by 3-inch baking pan.
Lay a filo sheet on the bottom of the pan, brush with warm butter,
and repeat using 8 sheets. Scoop up a handful of the nut-spice
mixture and sprinkle over the top filo sheet inside the pan. Lay
on 3 or more filo sheets, brushing each with butter, and sprinkle
again with the nut mixture. Continue until all the nuts and filo
are used. (The important things here are to butter each filo and
spread the nuts evenly. The way to do the latter is to rotate the
pan several times during the procedure.) Now you can remove the
reserved sheets from the refrigerator and spread over the top,
brushing on each sheet.

Using a long, very sharp knife, score the baklava from top to bottom
into diamond shapes planning in advance the size desired. Be sure
the knife touches the bottom of the pan as you cut. Heat the
remaining butter to sizzling and pour over the top. Bake in a 300
degree oven for 1 1/4 hours or until golden chestnut in color and
flaky. Remove from the oven (in the pan) to a rack, and spoon the
cooled syrup over the entire pastry. Cool in the pan, then serve
each piece individually.


Cutting Diagram:
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