Baklava is pastry made from layers of phyllo dough, honey, fruit, and nuts. You can buy the dough in the freezer section of many grocery stores, and using it involves no real sacrifice in flavor and considerable savings in time. It will be eclipsed by layers of nuts and a river of spiced honey.
- Prepare the walnuts and spices by grinding them together in the blender, then set aside.
- Prepare the syrup by combining 9 ounces of water, honey, sugar, zests, lemon juice, orange juice, and salt over medium heat until the sugar has melted and the liquid is hot but not boiling (about 200°F). Turn off heat.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a medium baking dish with parchment paper.
- Brush the parchment with melted butter, then add a layer of phyllo dough. Repeat until you have 7 layers of phyllo, brushing each one with the butter. Add a layer of the walnut mixture, and then a thin layer of syrup.
- For the next round of layers, use 5 sheets of buttered phyllo, one by one, followed by a layer of the walnut mixture and a layer of the syrup. Then repeat this process with one more round of 5 buttered layers, then the walnut mixture, and finally the syrup, reserving some syrup for the final step.
- Score the baklava diagonally to form 4” triangles, and bake for about 50 minutes. Once done, pour the remaining syrup over the pastry and allow it to sink in for a few hours. Serve at room temperature.
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