Gooey, rich, buttery, and sweet. Baklava is a dessert that is claimed by many cultures as their own. Whether it is Greek, or Turkish or even Chinese, makes no difference to me. All I know is that it’s good, really good.
The phyllo dough for this recipe is found in the freezer section of most grocery stores. Add a little lemon zest to the sugar sauce, if desired.
Brush each layer with melted butter
Sprinkle in walnut mixture
Trim the edges
Cut the pastry in the tin into the pieces which you will want at the end. Triangles are a traditional shape, but it’s up to you. As you are cutting raw filo pastry, covered with butter, and nuts falling out of it, this can be a little tricky. It is not essential to get right to the bottom layer, but get below the nut layer, and as far as you can.Put the tin in the oven and cook for 35 minutes. Check it to see if the top is brown. If not, cook for a bit longer.
250g butter, melted
4 cups chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
Preheat oven to 180°C ( 356F).In a food processor, pulse walnuts with the cinnamon and sugar, set aside.Place stack of thawed phyllo sheets on a work surfaceBrush the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch lasagna pan with butter.Lay one sheet of phyllo dough in the pan and brush it with butter. Repeat until you have 4 layers on the bottom of the pan, brushing each with butter as you layer.Sprinkle phyllo stack with 1/3 cup walnut filling.Lay another sheet of phyllo on top and brush with butter. Repeat until the filling is used up, reserving 5 sheets of phyllo for the top layer.With a sharp knife, trim the edges .Using a sharp knife, cut unbaked baklava into squares, or triangles, or diamond shapes.Bake until puffed and golden 30 to 35 minutes.*While it is baking, make syrup by bringing all of the syrup ingredients to a boil and letting it simmer until the sugar is dissolved and mixture is syrupy (approx 10 minutes).Transfer the baklava out of the oven onto a wire rack and let it cool slightly.Pour hot syrup over the baklava and let it stand at room temperature until syrup is absorbed, at least 3 hours.