2 1/4 cups caster sugar (Superfine)
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 TBS orange blossom water
7 oz walnuts, finely chopped
7 oz shelled pistachios, finely chopped
7 oz almonds, finely chopped
2 TBS caster sugar (Superfine), extra
2 tsp ground cinnamon
7oz unsalted butter, melted
13 oz filo dough pastry (Athens phyllo dough is what I use)
I'm sure you've used caster sugar before, but in case you haven't, it usually comes in like 1 quart milk carton looking container. And ultimately, if you can't find it, not that big of a deal. It gets dissolved into water and mixed in with the nuts so its not like you need it for texture...
The orange blossom water - never been able to find it. But I have been able to find orange blossom HONEY which actually has a great fruity floral scent and flavor so I sub out the two TBS orange blossom water for extra honey. If you really want to, I've done the water with a few drops of orange extract. But I like the honey option.
The nuts - drop all of them into a food processor and pulse. You want the nuts somewhere inbetween sunflower seed size and pea size. Any smaller and you loose texture and the little bit of crunch from the nuts. And larger and you won't have enough nuts for two layers. But you can always chop more nuts.
The recipe -
1) put the 2 1/4 cups sugar, lemon zest and 1 1/2 cups water in a sauce pan and stir over high heat will the sugar dissolves, then boil for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until the syrup has thickened slightly and just coats the back of a spoon.
Add the honey, lemon juice, and orange blossom water and cook for two minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely. ( At this point, to save time later, run it through the strainer now to remove zest and lemon bits/seed if you used fresh. The liquid will be hot and runny and less like syrup. So you can just pour it on to the hot baklava later. I put it right into the fridge to cool down. Overall you are looking for a finished texture a lot like the honey once it cools.)
2) preheat the oven to 325.
Combine the nuts, extra sugar and cinnamon.
Grease an 9x13 baking dish with melted butter
(I use my glass 9x13 pyrex. You can see all the pretty layers and check that you've sliced all the way through to the bottom layer once you get to that part at the end. You'll have to fold the edge of your filo unless you have an 11x12 pan. Also get a pastry brush that doesnt shed! Regular paint brushes are great actually)
Cover the base with a single layer of filo pastry and brush lightly with butter, folding over any overhanging edges. Continue to layer the filo, brushing with butter between each layer and folding the edges until you have used 10 sheets. (Keep the rest of the dough under a damp tea towel to prevent them from drying out. Otherwise, when they dry they will just shatter...and if the tea towel is too damp...they will stick together.)
3)Sprinkle half the nut mixture over the pastry and pat down evenly.
repeat the layering and buttering of 5 more sheets of dough and sprinkle the rest of the nuts. Then layer and butter 10 more sheets of filo dough, brushing the top layer with butter. press down the pastry with your hands so the pastry and nuts adhere to each other. Using a very sharp knife, cut into diamond shapes, ensuring you cut through the bottom layer. Pour any remaining butter evenly over the top and smooth with your hands.
(side note: You will have extra dough sheets I believe in this package, as well as an additional package in the box. Since I've read you like to get the most out of your ingredients, you may want to look up an additional recipe that uses the dough and make it right after this so you don't waste the remaining sheets) The other package will keep in the freezer till you need them again. Just give them a day or two to thaw in the fridge. You cannot use this dough frozen = tiny little pastry dough shards.
Bake at 325 for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 and bake 30 minutes more.
4) Remove from the oven and immediately cut through the original diamond marking and then pour the strained honey mixture evenly over the top. To achieve the right texture, its important for the baklava to be piping hot and the syrup to be cold when your pour the syrup. Use all the syrup. It will seem like you have alot but because the pastry is pretty dry and hot it will soak up and give you a great rich dense dessert.
Cool completely before serving.