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Print this Recipe    Baklava 27

Baklava

1 pound nuts
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp mixed spice; mace, clove, nutmeg, allspice
1 pound phyllo dough
3/4 - 1 pound butter

1 pound honey (approx. 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup water or liqueur (brandy or Grand Marnier is nice)
6-10 whole cloves
zest of one lemon or orange (optional)

Thaw phyllo. Chop nuts and stir in sugar, cinnamon and spices.
Melt butter; clarify if desired.

Preheat oven to 300.

In a 9x13 pan, layer 1/4 of phyllo, 1/3 of nuts, 1/4 phyllo, 1/3
nuts, 1/4 phyllo, 1/3 nuts and 1/4 phyllo, generously buttering
between each sheet of phyllo (use a pastry brush).

With a sharp knife, cut 3/4 through the baklava, making whatever
size and shape pieces you like. diamonds are typical. Bake at 300
degrees for 1 hour and 25 minutes.

Heat honey, water or liqueur, cloves and zest (if using) until it
just comes to the boil. Pour syrup over top of baklava and into
cuts while the baklava is still warm (preferably about 5 minutes
after it comes out of the oven).

Cool completely, and with a sharp knife cut completely through
baklava. Age several days for best results; will keep for weeks
in a moderately airtight container.

Notes: Divide the phyllo into fourths before beginning; 'dogear'
each section so you don't have to keep guesstimating. Athens phyllo
dough makes sheets that fit perfectly into my 9x13 pan if folded
in half. Don't bother cutting, just lay it in with the edge lined
up, butter and fold over; butter again. Alternate which side the
fold goes on. Syrup is best heated just to the boil in a saucepan,
microwave is okay but not as good. Do not cut all the way through
before baking; baklava will shrink during cooking and if you cut
all the way through the syrup puddles on the bottom instead of
permeating the pastry.

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