Preparation Time60 minutes
Serving Size8 People
Thaw the phyllo dough according to the package instructions (it is best to do this overnight and leave it in the fridge. Place it on the counter for 1 hour, before starting the cooking process to bring it to room temperature). Trim the phyllo dough to fit your baking sheet. The best phyllo dough package contains 2 rolls, with a total of 40 sheets that measure 9×14, so you have to trim them slightly. You can trim one stack at a time, then cover with a damp towel to keep the dough from drying out.
Butter the bottom and the sides of a 13×9 non-stick baking pan. In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup (230 gr) of sugar, 1/2 cup (120 ml) of honey, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 3/4 cup (180ml) of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves, then reduce the heat to medium-low and boil for an additional 4 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat, and let the syrup cool while preparing the filling.
Preheat the oven to 325˚F (160˚C). Pulse the walnuts for about 10 times in a food processor until coarsely ground/finely chopped. In a medium bowl, stir together: 1 pound (450 gr) of finely chopped walnuts and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon. Place 10 phyllo sheets in the baking pan one at a time, brushing each sheet with butter once it’s in the pan, before adding the next one (i.e. place a phyllo sheet in the pan, brush the top with butter, place the next phyllo sheet in the pan, butter the top etc.)
Keep the remaining phyllo covered with a damp towel at all times. Spread about 1/5 of the nut mixture (about 3/4 cup) over the phyllo dough. Add 5 buttered sheets of phyllo, then another layer of nuts. Repeat 4 times.Finish off with 10 layers of buttered phyllo sheets. Brush the top with butter. Here’s the order: 10 buttered phyllo sheets, 3/4 cup (180 gr) of nut mixture, 5 buttered phyllo sheets, 3/4 cup (180 gr) of nut mixture, 5 buttered phyllo sheets, 3/4 cup (180 gr) of nut mixture, 5 buttered phyllo sheets, 3/4 cup (180 gr) of nut mixture, 5 buttered phyllo sheets, 3/4 cup (180 gr) of nut mixture 10 buttered phyllo sheets and butter on top
Cut pastry into 1 1/2″ wide strips, then cut diagonally to form diamond shapes. Bake at 325˚F (160°C) for 1 hour and 15 min or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and immediately spoon the chilled syrup evenly over the hot baklava (you’ll hear it sizzle). This will ensure that it stays crisp rather than soggy. Let the baklava cool completely, uncovered and at room temperature. For the best results, let baklava sit for 4-6 hours or overnight at room temperature for the syrup to penetrate and soften the layers.
Garnish baklava with finely chopped nuts or drizzle with melted chocolate. Store at a room temp, covered with a tea towel for up to 2 weeks.