YIELD Makes about 32 pieces
Layers of flaky phyllo dough and spiced nuts drenched in a honey-lemon syrup, Baklava is a classic dessert in both Greece and Turkey. This delectable rendition uses almonds and a light syrup that's not overly sweet.
|4||cups slivered almonds and/or walnuts (1 pound)|
|1‑1/4||cups sugar, divided|
|2||teaspoons ground cinnamon|
|1/4||teaspoon ground cloves|
|1||package (16 ounces) frozen phyllo dough (about 20 sheets), thawed|
|1||cup butter, melted|
|2||(2-inch-long) strips lemon peel|
|1||tablespoon fresh lemon juice|
- Place half the nuts in food processor. Process using on/off pulsing action until nuts are finely chopped, but not pasty. Remove from container. Repeat with remaining nuts.
- Combine nuts, 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon and ground cloves in medium bowl; mix well.
- Unroll phyllo dough and place on large sheet of waxed paper. Cut phyllo sheets in half crosswise to form 2 stacks, each about 13X9 inches. Cover phyllo with plastic wrap and damp, clean kitchen towel. (Phyllo dough dries out quickly if not covered.)
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Brush 13X9-inch baking dish with some melted butter.
- Place 1 phyllo sheet in bottom of dish, folding in edges if too long; brush surface with butter. Repeat with 7 more phyllo sheets, brushing surface of each sheet with butter as they are layered. Sprinkle about 1/2 cup nut mixture evenly over layered phyllo.
- Top nuts with 3 more layers of phyllo, brushing each sheet with butter. Sprinkle another 1/2 cup nut mixture on top. Repeat layering and brushing of 3 phyllo sheets with 1/2 cup nut mixture until there are a total of eight 3-sheet layers. Top final layer of nut mixture with remaining 8 phyllo sheets, brushing each sheet with butter.
- Cut Baklava lengthwise into 4 equal sections, then cut diagonally at 1-1/2-inch intervals to form diamond shapes. Sprinkle top lightly with some water to prevent top phyllo layers from curling up during baking. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until golden brown.
- To prepare syrup, combine 1-1/2 cups water, remaining 3/4 cup sugar, honey, lemon peel, lemon juice, cinnamon stick and whole cloves in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer 15 minutes.
- Strain hot syrup; drizzle evenly over hot Baklava. Cool completely before serving.
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