Flaky phyllo pastry, pure golden honey and crunchy walnuts combine to create an exotic middle eastern dessert.
3 1/2 cups toasted California walnuts - divided use
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
12 sheets phyllo pastry
2/3 cups butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup liquid honey
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 whole cloves
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
- For Baklava: In food processor add walnuts, sugar, cinnamon and cardamom; pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs and transfer to bowl. Set aside. Line bottom and sides of 13x9x2-inch metal pan with parchment paper. Cut phyllo in half into 14 x 8-inch sheets.
- Place one sheet on work surface, keeping remaining sheets covered with a damp towel to prevent drying. Brush sheet lightly with butter and place another sheet on top. Repeat with 3 more sheets.
- Place stack in pan; sprinkle with 1 cup of the walnut mixture.
- Prepare another 4 sheets of phyllo, brushing each with butter, and place over prepared sheets and walnut mixture in pan. Sprinkle with all but 1/4 cup of the walnut mixture.
- Prepare remaining sheets, brushing each with butter, and place on top.
- Using the tip of a knife and without cutting all the way through, cut phyllo diagonally from one corner to opposite corner; make parallel cuts, 1 1/2-inches apart, to edge. Repeat in opposite directions to make diamonds. Sprinkle with remaining walnuts.
- Bake in centre of preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden and crisp.
- For Syrup: Meanwhile, in small saucepan whisk together sugar, honey, water, lemon zest, lemon juice and cloves. Bring to boil over medium high heat; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Discard cloves. Pour over hot baklava.
- Let cool completely on rack in pan. Using parchment, lift from pan onto cutting board and cut into diamond shapes (can be covered and made up to 1 day ahead).
Makes 48 small diamond-shaped bars.
Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of California Walnuts.