Sweet-Tooth or No Sweet-Tooth, this one is difficult to resist.
I learnt 3 important lessons while making this sweet meat. Never use butter substitutes to layer phyllo sheets, don't grind all the nuts together. I meant the dry fruit nuts, you silly! And lastly, treat the phyllo sheet like a friend and handle it with confidence- it will listen to you and not break/ fall apart.
Please read my remarks in the bottom before you proceed to avoid disasters and heart breaks! :)
Phyllo dough – 1 pkt (around 10 sheets will be used)
Butter melted - 1 Stick
Finely chopped nuts of your choice – 1.5 Cups (I used equal qty of pecans, almonds and pistachios)
Sugar - 1/8 cup (2 Tbsp)
Clove powder – 1/8 tsp (optional)
Nutmeg powder - 1/8 tsp
Cinnamon - 1/8 tsp
Ground Pistachios – To garnish
For the syrup:
For the syrup:
Sugar - 2 cups
Water- 1 cup
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Rose water - 1 Tbsp
Orange blossom water – 1 Tbsp (skip if you don't have)
Making the syrup:
Place sugar, water and lemon in a pot and let come to a soft boil, simmer for 10 minutes then remove from heat and add rose water and orange blossom water. Now simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely before adding to the sweet. (You can make this syrup once you have put the baklava in the oven for 35-40 min. By the time baklavas come out, syrup would have cooled)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Coarsely grind all the types of nuts in a food processor (one type at a time)
- Now mix nuts, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon powder and sugar in a bowl.
- Butter the baking tray on all sides. Place a phyllo sheet. Now apply butter all over this sheet using a pastry brush.
- Place the next sheet on top of this sheet. Apply butter all over the second sheet making sure there are no big air bubbles in between. Repeat this step to form a layer of 10 phyllo sheets.( simply put, butter each later of the phyllo dough and layer 10 sheets to form a base)
- Sprinkle nuts uniformly.
- Repeat the layering process with 5-6 layers on top of the dry fruit filling.
- Carefully cut the pastry into any shape, most common is square or diamond shape.
- Place in oven and bake for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown.
- Drizzle the baklava while in the pan with the simple syrup and then let cool completely before serving. Top each piece with ground pistachio.
** Try using an organic phyllo dough. Keep them frozen till you have everything ready for stuffing, melted butter for layering. These sheets thaw in minutes. Keep a moist kitchen towel handy to cover the those sheets which are in the queue.
***Grind each type of nut separately as each takes different time to grind. If you grind them all together, some may become too fine, paste like and leave oil.