My stepfather’s family is Greek and since I was raised in his household, I grew up with amazing Baklava that we had every holiday season. Every year, it was always traditionally the same. As I have adult children of my own now, I have made Baklava myself for many years and have tweaked the syrup some from how my mother taught me to make it. I hope you enjoy! This recipe is way easier than you’d think!
- 1 pound of raw, unsalted nuts (I use walnuts)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground mace
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1 pkg phyllo dough
- 1 cup butter melted
- Whole cloves for middle of each piece
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish.
- Chop the nuts very fine. You can do this by hand or in a food processor.
- After the nuts are fine, mix the ground spices into them.
- Unroll the phyllo and place it on a cookie sheet. Cover the phyllo with plastic wrap and then with a damp cloth to keep it from drying out quickly.
- Place 5 sheets of phyllo in the bottom of your baking dish. Brush generously with the melted butter.
- Sprinkle 5 to 6 tablespoons of the nut mixture evenly over the phyllo.
- Add 2 more sheets of phyllo dough and brush with butter after every layer.
- Continue to layer the nuts and phyllo sheets, brushing the sheets with butter as you go, until you have used all of the nut mixture.
- For the top layer of phyllo, use 6 to 8 sheets, buttering each one.
- Now, using a very sharp knife, cut the Baklava all the way through, into 4 long rows. Then cut diagonally to make diamond shapes.
- Place in the preheated oven ad bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown.
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon or orange juice
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 6 whole cloves
- peel from 1 lemon or orange washed, cut in strips, and pith removed
- Combine the brown sugar and the water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Add the honey, cinnamon sticks, cloves and citrus peel and return to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove and discard the cloves, peels and cinnamon sticks. The peel is “candied” now so you can use it in other recipes.
- Add the lemon or orange juice and the vanilla and mix well.
- Remove the syrup from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- After removing the Baklava from the oven, immediately pour the syrup over the top (It will absorb all of the syrup as it cools).
- Allow the Baklava to cool completely before serving. *My family always put one clove in the middle of each piece of baklava. It holds the top layers together & its a Greek thing!