Pistachio Baklava With Orange-Cardamom Syrup

"This recipe was published in the January 2010 issue of Bon Appetit magazine and it inspired me to give baklava a try. It also helped that I had a package of phyllo dough in the freezer that was crying out to be used. Needless to say, this recipe makes a gorgeous and flavorful pan of pastry. Minneola oranges (aka Honeybells) are now ripe here in Florida, and their juice gave the sauce a rich perfume. The orange-cardamom combination also offset the rich nuttiness of the pistachios perfectly. Heaven in a 13 x 9 pan! The only hitch in the recipe for me was that the phyllo I had was larger than the recipe called for, so I let some sheets come up the sides of the pan a little and folded the rest over and spread a little butter on them. The edges got a little thicker than the center, but were extra crispy and wonderful as a result! Be sure to cover the phyllo with plastic wrap and a damp towel while working with it, and if it tears or breaks, don't worry about it. I felt like mine was a messy patchwork quilt, but it didn't show when it was done and looked very professional. The article that was with the recipe suggested using the back of the hands to lift and move the phyllo, and it was a great suggestion and made it much easier to work with."
photo by KK7707 photo by KK7707
photo by KK7707
photo by KK7707 photo by KK7707
photo by KK7707 photo by KK7707
photo by KK7707 photo by KK7707
photo by KK7707 photo by KK7707
Ready In:
1hr 35mins
30 pieces




  • Simmer 1 3/4 cups sugar and orange juice in saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil over medium heat until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 8 minutes. Add cardamom and cool syrup.
  • Place nuts and 2 Tbsp sugar in processor. Pulse until most of the nuts are finely ground (the largest pieces should be the size of small peas.) Mix nuts, 6 Tbsp sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish with some of the melted butter. Place a sheet of phyllo in the dish and brush with melted butter. Repeat with 9 more sheets of phyllo and melted butter.
  • Sprinkle half of the nut mixture evenly over the phyllo. Top with a sheet of phyllo and brush with melted butter. Repeat with 9 more sheets of phyllo and melted butter.
  • Sprinkle with rest of the nut mixture over the phyllo, then top with 10 more sheets of phyllo and melted butter.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut diagonally through the top phyllo layer from the top left corner to the bottom right corner. Cut top layer of phyllo into 1-inch-wide rows parallel to both sides of the first cut. Turn pan and cut rows about 2 1/4 inches wide, forming diamond pattern.
  • Bake baklava until golden brown and crisp, 50-55 minutes. Drizzle syrup evenly over hot baklava. Cool in pan on rack. Recut baklava along lines all the way through layers. Baklava can be made two days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

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One of my passions is to feed people, but I wouldn't work in a commercial kitchen on a bet. It's too hard - and I have great respect for those who do it. I fix dinner for about 60 people once a year and am always looking for new recipes for "the party", which is what led me to this site. My husband and I also make and can jams (especially strawberry - plentiful in Florida, peaches, tomatoes and green beans, not to mention the annual cookie frenzy each December when we make about 75 dozen cookies for gifts. We also smoke salmon often. We love living in Florida, but miss the fine seafood, corn, tomatoes, peaches and apples of the mid-Atlantic coast.?Below I've?defined how I rate recipes to make my ratings more useful. I think this is important as I rely a great deal on ratings and comments by other Chefs and I would like to know what their standards are. How I rate recipes: 5 stars: These are recipes I expect to make many times and require little in the way of changes to be really, really good. This rating doesn't take into account as to whether a recipe is 'gourmet' or just plain good food - if I expect to make it often, it gets 5 stars. 4 stars: These are recipes that are very good, but for one reason or another I don't expect to make it often. The reasons for not making it often can be varied, such as difficulty or cost, but NOT because we just thought it was OK instead of great. These recipes are just as good as my 5-stars and are ones I would consider making again. 3 stars: These are recipes that one of my family or extended family liked or loved, but there wasn't a consensus that it was really good. 3 stars means I probably won't make again unless there are easy changes I can do to make it more to our liking. 2 stars: These are recipes that just aren't to my taste for one reason or another. Could be flavor, poor appearance, difficulty - just about anything. I don't plan to make it again. 1 star: These are recipes I didn't even end up serving to others and will not make again. Usually my problem with these recipes is with the taste. You won't find many of these ratings from me as it is sometimes kinder to just not rate it. If I do rate it, it is to make suggestions on how to improve it.
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