( 1 inch wide strip)
1 1/2 teaspoons
( 2 sticks)
phyllo dough, thawed
- Start off by making the syrup: In a medium saucepan, combine all of the syrup ingredients. Cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook until the syrup is slightly thickened. This takes about 10 minutes. Remove the lemon zest and set the pan aside to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F
- Prep the nut filling: Finely chop the nuts with either a sharp knife or food processor (take care not to over process). Stir in the ground cinnamon and salt.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low.
- Use a pastry brush and brush a light coat of the melted butter to grease a 9" by 13" baking dish.
- Unroll the phyllo sheets. If they are larger than the baking dish, take a sharp knife and trim them to fit. Cover with plastic wrap or a barely damp kitchen towel. If left uncovered, the phyllo will dry out.
- Lay one phyllo sheet in the baking dish. Lightly brush with melted butter. Continue alternating butter and phyllo until you have 7 sheets stacked. Take 3/4 cup of the nut mixture and spread over the top of the phyllo. Repeat layering and buttering 7 sheets of phyllo and 3/4 cup of nuts until all of the nuts have been used. Layer and butter any remaining phyllo sheets on top.
- Score the phyllo: Using your trusty sharp knife, cut 4 lengthwise lines about 1 1/2" apart. This will give you 5 rows. Then cut diagonally every 1 1/2". These cuts will form a diamond pattern. You should come out with close to 36 pieces of baklava this way. It is very important to score before you bake!
- Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and set aside on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Using a ladle or small measuring cup, drizzle the cooled syrup over the warm baklava. Allow the baklava to soak up the syrup for several hours -overnight is better - before serving. Cover with plastic wrap.
- Note: I've not made this since I read this trick, but Women's Weekly suggests using a clean small foam paint roller from the crafts dept. to butter your phyllo sheets. Next time, I'm going to try it to see if it speeds things up a bit.