Baklava Recipe

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Baklava Recipe from “It’s Greek to Me” Cookbook

Temperature: 300 degrees for 1 ½ hours, then 360 for 15 minutes
Pan Size: 11” x 14” x 2”
Approximately 40 pieces

2 pounds butter
2 pounds filo pastry
Whole cloves

9 cups ground nuts
2 cups almonds
4 cups walnuts
3 cups pecans
½ cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp. cloves

4 cups sugar
3 cups water
2 cinnamon sticks
10 whole cloves
1/2 orange, sliced
1 whole lemon, sliced
1-1/2 cups honey

1. Clarify the butter by melting it in a large pot. Bring to a boil and boil until the foam rises to the top and turns a golden or honey color (about 15 minutes). Skim off any foam off surface. Carefully pour off honey colored oil, discarding sediment in bottom of pan. This should yield 3 cups of clarified butter. Refrigerate til needed.
2. Coarsely grind all nuts. It is recommended that you grind whole nutmeats, rather than use packaged pieces.
3. Mix ground nuts with ½ cup sugar and spices. Cover and set aside.
4. Prepare the syrup by combining all the ingredients except the honey and bring to a boil. Boil until it thickens (15 minutes) to 225 degrees on a candy thermometer. Add honey. Set aside to cool.
5. Assemble the baklava. Melt clarified butter and grease bottom and sides of pan with pastry brush. Line bottom and sides of pan with filo, brush well with melted butter, and repeat until 8 layers cover bottom, brushing each with melted butter, sprinkle ¾ cup nut mixture on top of 8th sheet of buttered filo. Cover with another sheet of filo, butter and sprinkle another ¾ cups of nuts. Continue procedure until all nuts are used. Finish with 9-10 fila on top, brushing each with melted butter. Do not butter top filo.
6. Cut pastry lengthwise in 1-1/2” strips. Cut each strip at 1- ½” intervals diagonally to form diamond shape. Place whole clove in center of each diamond.
7. Heat remaining (1 cup) of clarified butter until it turns dark. Allow to cool and pour over top of baklava. Brush to cover all of the filo. Sprinkle with cool water with fingertips over top of baklava. Bake at 300 degrees and bake 15 minutes.
8. Cool Baklava completely in pan. Pour warm syrup slowly over it and allow syrup to penetrate pastry at least 24 hours before serving.