Pastry Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups blender ground nuts (1/2 pistachios and 1/2 almonds), reserve 2 T
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. ground cloves
  • 1 lb phyllo dough
  • 2–3 sticks unsalted butter (NOT margarine, etc.), melted and clarified, (or equivalent amount of ghee).

Sauce Ingredients

  • Make sauce while phyllo layers are baking)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 1/2 orange thinly sliced
  • 3 T orange honey
  • 2 t Rose flower water


Pastry Instructions

  • Thaw the phyllo for 24 hr.- 48 hr. in the refrigerator. Mix all but reserved ground nuts with the sugar, cinnamon, and cloves. Divide this mixture into 2 parts.
  • Preheat oven to 300 deg. F. Unroll and cut the stack of phyllo leaves so that each leaf wili just about cover the bottom of a pan approximately 14’x11’x2’ in size. Divide the leaves into 3 equal-sized stacks, reserving the trimmings for the middle stack. (You may have trimmings left and these can be pieced together to make full leaves.
  • In a pan, sprayed with Pam, layer the phyllo and ground nut mixture as follows: Start with one stack of phyllo leaves. Put one leaf on bottom of pan. Brush with melted butter. Continue to add leaves, brushing with butter, until the first stack of leaves is used up, brushing the last leaf with butter, too. Spread the unreserved ground nut mixture over layer. Using the second stack of leaves, start Iayering the leaves as before on top of the nuts. In this layer, use up your trimmings by altemating whole leaves with leaves made of trimmings. Continue until the second stack is used. Spread the rest of the unreserved ground nuts over layer. Continue Iayering the remaining phyllo leaves and bmshing with butter until all the leaves are used up, brushing the last layer butter.
  • With a sharp knife cut through only the top layer of phyllo but not nuts to create serving size. (l use 4 cuts along the long side, 3 cuts on the short side, and then cut each resulting “square” on the diagonal, making 24 pieces. Sprinkle the reserved 2 T nuts over all.
  • Place uncovered in middle of oven and cook about 1 hr. until the leaves in the top layer begin to curl and top is faintly golden brown. The idea is to dry out the phyllo, not cook the filling. Look at the phyllo after about 50 min. and every few minutes thereafter until 1 hour is up. If phyllo is not done after 1 hr., turn up oven to 325 degrees F and cook up to 15 min. more checking often: it can brown quickly once it starts to brown. Remove from oven. and immediately pour slowly the cooled sauce (see below) over the hot phyllo. Cool to room temperature.
  • Cut the pastry all the way through at the previously made cuts. Do not refridgerate and do not cover, except with wax paper lightly draped over to keep out dirt. (Refrigerating or covering tightly will cause the pastry to go limp.)

Sauce Instructions

Combine all ingredients except rose water. Bring to boil and then simmer for 10 min. stirring occasionally. Cool to room temperature. Strain, keeping liquid and throwing solids away. Add rose flower water and stir to mix.

Preparing Baklava

  1. Take the thawed phyllo out from the box. There are 2 phyllo dough packets in the box. In every packet there are 20 layers. Open only one of the packets at the beginning, because it dries very easily. You can place phyllo layers under a damp towel to prevent drying. Every phyllo layer is 9×14 size. If you are using smaller pan you can cut phyllo layer and you can still use left over pieces as layers.
  2. Brush pan with melted butter.
  3. Place first layer of phyllo dough on the tray. Brush lightly with butter, without leaving dry spaces. Overlap 8 sheets on bottom of pan, buttering each sheet as you place in the pan, covering the bottom.
  4. Sprinkle with 1/3 of walnuts. Overlap 8 more buttered phyllo sheets on top. Spread 1/3 additional walnuts over the phyllo. Overlap with another 8 buttered phyllo sheets and the remaining walnuts. Finish baklava by overlapping the remaining 16 sheets, buttering the sheets as you fit them in the pan.
  5. With sharp knife, cut phyllo into 1/2″ diamonds or squares. (There should be 15–20 portions.) Brush with remaining butter.
  6. Bake in preheated 400°F oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Allow pastry to cool for 3 minutes. Using a serving spoon, slowly pour cool syrup over the pastry. Fill the pan with syrup slightly below the top layer of phyllo dough.
  8. Allow pastry to absorb the syrup.
  9. Cool completely in room temperature.