Make the syrup first, so it will have time to cool off.
|Ingredients assembled. The pyrex pitcher has the ground nuts, bread crumbs and cinnamon.|
1 1/2C water
1/2 C honey
1 cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
|Syrup cooking on the stove.|
Combine above ingredients in a heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil gently until reduced to 2 1/2 cups, about 10 minutes. Strain into bowl. Cool completely.
1 3/4C sliced almonds, toasted, about 7 ounces
1 3/4C walnuts, toasted, about 7 ounces
1/2C fine dry white breadcrumbs
Finely chop almonds and walnuts in a processor (or blender). Transfer to large bowl. Mix in breadcrumbs and cinnamon.
2 1-pound packages frozen phyllo pastry sheets, thawed, (available in large grocery stores in the frozen food section.
1 1/4C (2 1/2 sticks) butter, melted, lukewarm
|Buttering the pan. I use a pyrex baking dish which is a bit larger than a 9x13 pan.|
|Athens Fillo now comes in a twin pack, so you don't need to cut it in half first.|
Place 1 sheet of phyllo in bottom o prepared dish (keep remaining sheets covered with plastic wrap and damp towel to prevent drying). Because many brands of phyllo are not long enough to touch both ends of dish, it may be necessary to stagger sheets so that 1 sheet touches one end of dish and the next sheet touches the opposite end.
|First layer, butered.|
Brush first sheet with melted butted. Top with second phyllo sheet. Brush with butter. Repeat, using 12 more sheets, buttering each sheet. (14 SHEETS IN FIRST LAYER) Top with 3/4C of nut mixture.
Cover with 4 MORE SHEETS, IN SECOND LAYER, buttering each. Sprinkle 3/4C nut mixture over it.
Do THREE MORE LAYERS WITH 4 SHEETS EACH, buttering each sheet and putting 3/4C nut mixture over each layer.
|Sprinkling on the nut filling. Make sure to get corners.|
Top with 18 MORE SHEETS IN LAST LAYER, buttering each, (reserving remaining phyllo sheets for another use, may refreeze). Brush top sheet generously with butter.
|Sometimes the dough rips. That is OK.|
|The dough is too short. Just put the next piece over the uncovered parts. With so many layers, it will all even out.|
|Adding the cloves. When the cloves are all in, sprinkle top with water. I just put some on my fingers and sprinkle the best I can.|
|Out of the oven. It smells heavenly.|
|Adding the syrup.|
Transfer to a rack and cool completely in baking dish. Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover with foil and let stand at room temperature. To serve, transfer baklava pieces to a platter, using metal spatula as aid.
|Cooled and ready to eat. This serves a LOT and tastes great left over.|