We recommend you read the entire recipe prior to starting.
2-quart baking pan – 10×14 inches
Knife or pastry cutter
For the Syrup:
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
peel from half of a lemon
1 stick cinnamon
1 cup orange blossom honey
For the Baklava:
1 pound sweet butter, melted
1½ pounds walnuts, half finely chopped and half coarsely chopped
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 pound phyllo dough
Preparing the Syrup
The syrup may be made a day before, cooled, and stored at room temperature in an airtight glass container. It will be used at room temperature.
- Place the sugar, water, lemon peel, and cinnamon stick in a sauce pan.
- Bring to a boil, and continue to boil gently for another 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Add the honey, and stir.
- Remove the lemon peel and cinnamon stick.
Assembling the Baklava
The evening before, remove the unopened phyllo dough from the freezer, and place it in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, remove the package, and set it on your counter. After two hours, remove the phyllo from the packaging, unroll it, place it on your counter, and cover it with a damp towel.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place the walnuts, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves in a bowl, and combine.
- Brush the sides and bottom of your baking pan with melted butter.
- Place a sheet of phyllo in the bottom of the pan, and brush it lightly with melted butter. Repeat. Remember to cover the unused phyllo dough with the damp towel.
- Butter four sheets of phyllo, and place them so that they overlap the outer edges of the pan and each other.
- Sprinkle half of the nut mixture evenly over the top layer of buttered phyllo. Make certain that the nut mixture covers the entire pan.
- Place another sheet of phyllo over the nut mixture, and butter it. Repeat three more times.
- Sprinkle the remaining nut mixture evenly over the top layer of buttered phyllo.
- Fold over the buttered phyllo sheets that hang over the edges of your baking pan.
- Cover the baking pan with a sheet of phyllo, allowing the sheet to hang slightly over your pan, and butter it. Repeat with five more sheets.
- With the back of a knife or pastry cutter, fold the overhanging buttered phyllo sheets under and around the buttered phyllo sheets covered with nuts.
- Brush the top layer of phyllo with butter, as that will give you a golden-brown finish.
- With a ruler, divide the pan on the long side, and then score and cut the phyllo until you reach about ¾ of the way to the bottom of the pan.*
- Turn your pan 90°, and score again, creating the diamond shapes. Do not cut through the long score running the length of your pan. If you do, the top layers of phyllo may blow off in the oven.*
- Place the pan in the center of your oven, and bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. If the baklava is not golden brown by the end of the 45 minutes, place a sheet of wax paper over the top, and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven.
*See the illustration attached.
- Using a ladle, slowly pour the room-temperature syrup over the hot baklava. Make certain that the syrup covers the entire baklava, especially along the scored lines.
- Allow to stand for at least two to three hours before serving.
- Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut through all the pieces.
The solid lines indicate where you should score/cut ¾ of the way through. The dotted lines indicate where you should score about halfway through and not all the way across to the solid line.