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Baklava > yummy! January 25, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Food Recipes.

Ingredients >
For the Sugar Syrup >
3 cups sugar
11/2 cups water
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick

For the Pastry and Filling >
4 cups fine-chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup sugar
40 frozen phyllo pastry sheets, thawed according to package directions
11/2 cups unsalted butter, clarified

Method >
To make syrup:
Combine all ingredients in a large, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Once mixture boils and sugar is dissolved, do not stir or syrup may cloud or crystallize.

Reduce heat to medium low and cook, uncovered, until a candy thermometer registers 212 to 218 degrees. Remove from heat. Remove the cinnamon stick. Cool. (Use immediately or refrigerate in a plastic container with lid. May be refrigerated up to 1 month.)

To make pastry: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine walnuts, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves and sugar. Set aside.

Unroll phyllo sheets on a flat surface. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent drying out.

Layer 1 sheet in pan and brush with butter. Repeat until 12 sheets are stacked in pan. Spread 1 cup nut mixture over layered phyllo sheets. Top with 1 phyllo sheet and brush with butter. Repeat until 8 sheets are stacked and brushed with butter.

Spread with 1 cup nut mixture over phyllo. Layer and butter 8 more phyllo sheets. Spread with remaining nut mixture. Top with 12 remaining filo sheets, brushing each with butter. Brush top sheet with remaining butter or margarine.

Cutting all the way through pastry, cut into 1-inch diamond shapes without removing from pan. Bake 30 minutes.

Reduce heat to 200 degrees and bake 30 minutes longer. Remove from oven. Pour cooled syrup over warm pastry. Let stand several hours before serving. Makes about 60 pieces.

Tips >
We used Athens brand frozen phyllo dough that comes 2 (20-sheet) fresh pack rolls to a 16-ounce box. These are made to fit a 14-by-9-inch pan (they work fine with a 13-by-9-inch pan too) and are very easy to use. We let them defrost overnight in the refrigerator.

To clarify butter: Melt butter and pour into a glass measuring cup. Let settle. Remove the foam that floats to the top. Pour off clear yellow liquid (this is the clarified butter). Discard watery white liquid at bottom (these are milk solids).

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