Baklava

recipe-dessertOkay, I do admit to being a food snob when it comes to certain kinds of foods, and baklava fits that category. So many times you see baklava with a couple pastry layers at the top and at the bottom with a fat nut layer in the middle – I’ll leave that one alone. If it doesn’t have multiple layers of pastry and nuts, I don’t want it. This is a time consuming dessert to make, but the result is well worth it.

Ingredients

4 cups finely chopped walnuts

¾ cup sugar

1 T cinnamon

3 sticks unsalted butter, melted

1 pound phyllo pastry, thawed according to package directions.

Syrup Ingredients

2 cups water

¾ cup sugar

1 T fresh lemon juice

1 2” strip lemon rind

¾ cup honey

Mix together walnuts, sugar, and cinnamon and set aside.

Lay phyllo onto work space and cover with a slightly damp towel to keep from drying out. Place one sheet in a 9 x 13” pan and brush with butter. Repeat 7 times to have eight layers of phyllo and butter. Sprinkle with ¼ cup nut mixture. Add two more layers of phyllo, brushing each sheet with butter. Sprinkle with ¼ cup nut mixture. Continue this layering process until nut mixture is used up. Place remaining phyllo sheets on top, brushing each with butter.

Preheat oven to 300º. Cut pastry into diamond shapes. Place pan in oven with a pan of water on baking rack below the pastry. Bake for 2 hours.

While pastry is in oven, prepare the sauce. In a medium sauce pan, combine water, sugar, lemon juice and rind. Bring to a boil and simmer 15 minutes. Add honey and simmer 5 more minutes. Remove lemon peel and set aside to cool.

When baking time is complete, remove pastry from oven and pour cooled syrup over the top.

Source: Recipe by Tricia Swann

Jefferson Farmers Co-op 08112014