For the Syrup
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 strip orange peel
For the Baklava Pastry and Filling
- 16 ounce package phyllo (fillo) dough (40 sheets), thawed according to package instructions
- 1 pound walnuts , finely chopped (about 4 cups)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter , melted
For the Pastry
- Thaw phyllo dough completely by placing it in the refrigerator overnight, then letting the package of phyllo sit, unopened, on the counter for 1 hour prior to making your baklava so it can come all the way to room temperature.
For the Syrup mixture
- Combine the sugar, water, honey, lemon juice, and orange peel in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to boil for 4 minutes more without stirring. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool completely. Discard orange peel.
For the Nut mixture
- Place the walnuts, cinnamon, and cardamom in a food processor and pulse 10-12 times until nuts are coarsely ground, but not into a powder.
Assemble the Baklava
- Unroll the phyllo dough and lay the sheets flat on your work surface. Trim the sheets to the size of a 9×13-inch baking dish. (Immediately cover them with a damp towel and keep them covered while assembling the Baklava. As you take a phyllo sheet from the stack, immediately cover the stack. This is critical to keep them from drying out.)
- Heat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Baste the bottom and sides of your baking dish wth some of the melted butter.
- Lay one sheet of phyllo in your baking dish. Brush with butter. Repeat this process with 10 sheets, brushing every single sheet with butter.
- Sprinkle approximately 1/5 of the chopped walnuts (about 3/4 cup) evenly on top.
- Cover with 5 sheets of phyllo, brushing every sheet with butter. Top with 3/4 cup walnuts. Repeat 3 more times.
- Finish with the final 10 sheets of phyllo, brushed with butter between the layers. Brush the top sheet of phyllo dough with butter, as well.
- Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the baklava into 4 long even strips lengthwise, then slice diagonally to create diamond-shaped baklava.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the baklava is golden brown.
- Remove from oven and immediately drizzle all of the cooled honey syrup over the baklava, making sure everything gets coated.
- Using a sharp knife, gently run it through the cut baklava again, to ensure each piece can easily be removed later.
- Let the baklava cool completely at room temperature for at least 6 hours (ideally overnight) without being covered (to prevent sogginess) so the baked pastry can soak up all of the syrup.
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