I've never had real Baklava, only the stuff from the grocery store bakery, and that was years ago. So when my friend Angie wanted to bake some, I thought why not? I was under the impression that it was really hard to prepare, but I was surprised at how easy it was. Granted, it is a little time consuming, but there's nothing really hard about it. You layer sheets of phyllo dough, found at most grocery stores in the frozen desserts section, brush with melted butter, and sprinkle on a heavenly concoction of nuts, cinnamon and sugar. Bake in the oven for a couple of hours (yes, hours!) and then pour on a honey simple syrup. Really good!
I brought my camera with me to document the whole process, and then well, I forgot. Sorry about that. Story of my life. I did get a couple of shots of the finished product, and they're not too bad. I don't have a fancy-smancy camera like P-Dub, just a point and click. So my pictures aren't great, but they're not altogether terrible either. So anyway, if you've got a hankerin' for baklava, don't buy the grocery store impostor, just make your own! It's well worth it!
4 cups of walnuts or almonds, or a mixture of both, finely chopped
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbs cinnamon
3 sticks butter
1 pack phyllo dough
2 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbs lemon juice
3/4 cup honey
To prepare the Baklava:
Thaw out phyllo dough. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Melt butter. Take an 9X13 pan and begin by placing one sheet of phyllo on the bottom of the pan. Brush with melted butter. Place another sheet of phyllo on top of that and brush with melted butter. Repeat this process until you have 8 sheets of phyllo, each brushed with melted butter.
Combine nuts, sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl. On top of the eighth sheet of phyllo, sprinkle about 1/3 cup of nut mixture. On top of that layer 2 sheets of phyllo dough each brushed with the butter.
Repeat layering with phyllo and nut mixture until you have used up all the nut mixture. The very top sheet just brush with butter. Cut into small squares or diamonds with a sharp knife. Place in a 300 degree oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Combine water, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Then add honey and simmer for 5 more minutes. Cool slightly, then pour over hot baklava when it comes out of the oven. Let cool slightly then serve and enjoy!