Baklava is a delicious pastry very popular in Middle Eastern countries. Its supposed origins are Turkish, dating to the Byzantine Empire (or even further), though many cultures claim it for their own.
Prep: 30 min
Cooking: 50 min
Serves: 4 persons
1 pound chopped mixed nuts
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup white sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish.
- Toss together cinnamon and nuts. Unroll phyllo and cut whole stack in half to fit the dish. Cover phyllo with a damp cloth while assembling the baklava, to keep it from drying out.
- Place two sheets of phyllo in the bottom of the prepared dish. Brush generously with butter. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons of the nut mixture on top. Repeat layers until all ingredients are used, ending with about 6 sheets of phyllo. Using a sharp knife, cut baklava (all the way through to the bottom of the dish) into four long rows, then (nine times) diagonally to make 36 diamond shapes.
- Bake in preheated oven 50 minutes, until golden and crisp.
- While baklava is baking, combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Stir in honey, vanilla and lemon zest, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
- Remove the baklava from the oven and immediately spoon the syrup over it. Let cool completely before serving. Store uncovered.