Baklava, a middle eastern dessert, is a nutty, honey-sweet crispy pastry made with filo (pronounced "fee-lo"; also spelled phyllo) dough.
1/2 pound frozen filo (also called phyllo) dough sheet, thawed*
2 cups blanched almonds, finely ground
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
Honey and Rose Water Syrup:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup liquid honey
1 tablespoon rose water
Sliced almonds for garnish (optional)
- For Baklava: Unfold sheets of filo dough so they lie flat. Cover with waxed paper, then a damp towel, to prevent them from drying out.
- Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).
- In a medium bowl combine almonds, sugar, lemon rind, and cinnamon.
- Generously butter an 8 to 9-inch-square pan.
- Carefully fold 2 sheets of filo to fit pan; place in pan one at a time, brushing each with butter. Sprinkle about 3 tablespoons of the almond mixture over top sheet. Fold 1 sheet of filo to fit pan; brush with butter. Sprinkle evenly with another 3 tablespoons almond mixture.
- Continue to add layers, using 1 folded sheet of filo, a generous brushing of butter, and 3 to 4 tablespoons almond mixture for each, until nut mixture is used up (there should be about 10 nut-filled layers).
- Fold remaining 2 to 3 sheets of filo to fit pan. Place on top, brushing each, with butter before adding the next. With a very sharp knife, carefully cut diagonally across pan to make small diamond shapes -- about 1 1/2-inches on a side -- cutting all the way to bottom of pan. Pour on any remaining butter.
- Bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes.
- For Honey and Rose Water Syrup: Combine sugar and the water in a 1 1/2-quart saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring. Mix in honey and cook until syrup boils again. Remove from heat; stir in rose water.
- Pour warm Honey and Rose Water Syrup over top of baked baklava. Decorate each piece with an almond slice. Cool before serving.
Makes 24 servings.
*If frozen, thaw filo dough for 8 hours in refrigerator.
Recipe courtesy of the National Honey Board.