|I've been making baklava since 1982.|
Having recently returned from six months studying in Jerusalem (Jan-June 1982), I decided to tackle this Mediterranean treat.
As a novice, I accidentally added the syrup before baking the butter-layered pastry filled with nuts and spices.
I assembled it at my apartment but baked it at a reunion--held at one of our teacher's home, David K. Ogden aka DKO.
When others asked me about the progress of this dessert, I remember looking in the oven and then shouting back over my shoulder, "It's swimming in so much butter and syrup that it's doing the backstroke!"
I've had three more decades to practice making baklava. May you benefit from my slow learning curve!
1 pound of nuts* (4 cups of halves)
1 teaspoon cinnamon and/or nutmeg
3/4 to 1 cup of melted butter
1 pkg (16 oz) phyllo dough aka fillo, thawed
3/4 cup of water
1 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 cup of honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
*I prefer pecans, but others use pistachios, walnuts or even mixed nuts. If they are already chopped, you only need 3.5 cups.