Baklava

Deborah posted 11-15-99 2:15 AM pt (US)

Baklava

Filling:
3/4 cup finely chopped or ground walnuts
3/4 cup finely chopped or ground blanched almonds
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Pastry:
1/2 cup melted butter
30 sheets phyllo pastry, each 9x9 inches

Syrup:
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed and strained lemon juice


Combine all of filling ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside. Preheat oven to 325 F.

To assemble pastry, brush a 9x9 inch baking pan with some of melted butter. Line it with 10 sheets of phyllo, brushing each with butter. Sprinkle half the nut mixture evenly over entire surface.

Top with another 10 sheets of phyllo, brushing each with butter. Sprinkle with remaining nuts and top with remaining phyllo, buttering each sheet.

With a sharp knife, cut pastry in vertical lines 2 1/4 inches apart, then cut diagonally into diamond shapes. Bake in a preheated 325 oven 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 250 and bake 1 hour and 15 minutes or until golden, crisp, and baked through.

While baklava bakes, prepare syrup. Combine sugar, water, and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, about 20 minutes or until syrup reaches a temperature of 225 on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and keep warm.

When baklava is done, remove it from oven and allow to cool slightly. Spoon syrup evenly over pastry. Cool to room temperature before serving.

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