(recipe, Diana Abu-Jaber)
For when you need to serenade someone.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- Splash of lemon juice
- 1 tsp. orange-blossom water
- 1 lb. walnuts
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 box phyllo dough, defrosted
- 1 lb. butter, clarified (melted and with the top layer skimmed off)
- In a saucepan, boil the syrup ingredients until the mixture turns clear. Cover the syrup and set aside in the refrigerator to cool.
- In a food processor, grind together the walnuts, sugar, and cinnamon to a fine, sandy consistency. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Carefully unfold the phyllo dough, making sure not to crack or tear it. Keep it covered with a piece of waxed paper to help prevent it from drying out.
- Butter the bottom of a shallow baking pan. (You can also use a cookie sheet that has at least an inch-high lip.) Carefully unpeel the first sheet of phyllo and lay it flat and smooth in the bottom of the pan. Brush with the clarified butter.
- Continue layering sheets of phyllo dough and brushing each sheet with butter until you've used half the dough. Spread the nuts-and-sugar mixture over the dough. Place another sheet of dough on the mixture and butter it. Continue layering and buttering dough until you've used up the rest.
- Using a sharp knife, carefully cut through the baklava in long, straight lines to form diamonds or squares about 2 inches long. Bake for about 50 minutes or until golden-brown. Pour the cooled syrup over the hot baklava. Serve hot, warm, or cool.