Holiday Treats: Day 5
Nuts and spices
Nut mixture over some phyllo sheets
About 45 minutes in...
This is how it looks right out of the oven after you've poured the honey sauce on top.
I will start by saying that if you're in a rush, please try one of the recipes posted between Monday and Thursday. This one is much more labor intensive, but I promise you it will be worth it.
1 (16 oz.) package of phyllo sheets (found in the freezer section)
1 (16 oz.) package of chopped walnuts, pistachios, or pecans
2 sticks (1 cup) of unsalted butter, melted
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
2 t. ground cinnamon
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup honey (I used a local clover honey)
1 t. vanilla
Thaw your phyllo sheets for at least 2 hours. In a pinch, I have microwaved frozen phyllo sheets in 30 second intervals.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Butter a 13 X 9 pan.
Chop the nuts and toss with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Set aside.
Put 3 sheets of phyllo in the pan. Brush with melted butter. Put three more sheets. Brush with butter. Now, add 2 sheets and butter. Put 1/2 the nut mixture on phyllo. Cover with 3 more sheets. Brush with melted butter. Now add the rest of the nuts and spread over the phyllo sheets.
Add two more layers, then brush with butter. Now add 2 more. Brush with butter. Now three or four more sheets and butter again.
Cut into triangles or squares, not cutting completely through.
Put in the oven for 45 minutes to 55 minutes or until a nice golden brown shade.
While you have about 25 to 30 minutes remaining, make the sauce. Boil water and sugar together. Once the sugar has all melted, add honey and vanilla extract. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes over low to medium heat.
When the baklava is out of the oven, immediately pour your sauce over. You can cut the rest of the way through when it's cool.
ENJOY! You can serve on paper doilies or in paper muffin liners to absorb the honey sauce that may leak through.
About baklava--this can get soggy. Do not cover. It will make it more soggy. I typically make two pans and freeze one because it stays in the freezer very well for weeks.
Phyllo can be tricky to work with. That said, I'd much rather work with the delicate, paper thin phyllo sheets than pie pastry any day! Just treat it gently and it will assemble perfectly.