Baklava is a flaky, nutty, honey-sweet middle eastern dessert. It is so good, its popularity is world-wide.
3 cups finely chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups clarified butter* - divided use
1/2 cup honey
1 (16-ounce) package frozen filo (phyllo) pastry sheets**, thawed
1 cup honey
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
3 whole cloves
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
- For Baklava: Combine walnuts and spices in medium bowl.
- Reserve 1/2 cup clarified butter for brushing top and bottom layers; stir honey into remaining 1 cup butter.
- Brush bottom of 13x9x2-inch baking pan with some of clarified butter.
- Cut filo sheets in half crosswise; trim to 13x9-inch rectangles. Cover filo with waxed paper and damp towel to keep from drying out.
- Line pan with 10 sheets of filo, brushing each sheet with clarified butter; sprinkle with 1/3 cup walnut mixture. Place 2 sheets filo on top of walnut layer, brushing each with honey-butter mixture. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup walnut mixture. Repeat, layering 2 sheets filo, brushing each with honey-butter mixture and sprinkling with 1/3 cup walnut mixture until all nut mixture is used. Top with remaining file sheets, brushing each with clarified butter.
- With a sharp knife, cut baklava into diamond-shaped pieces, carefully cutting through all layers.
- Bake in preheated 325°F (160°C) oven 45 minutes.
- Reduce heat to 275°F (135°C) and bake 20 minutes more.
- Remove from oven; and while still hot, carefully spoon cool Honey Syrup over entire surface.
- For Honey Syrup: Combine honey, water, lemon peel, cloves and cinnamon in small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes. Add lemon juice; simmer 5 minutes more. Remove from heat; cool. Remove cloves and cinnamon before using.
Makes 36 servings.
*To clarify butter, melt 1 pound of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Skim off foam; strain clear yellow liquid into a bowl, leaving cloudy residue (the milk solids) in bottom of pan.
**If frozen, thaw filo dough for 8 hours in refrigerator.
Recipe courtesy of the National Honey Board.