Walnut Baklava

The Ultimate Greek dessert. Super flaky phyllo pastry, nuts, cinnamon and orange syrup. Serve it with vanilla ice cream on the side.

YOU WILL NEED

Nut filling

  • 300 g shelled walnuts or pecans (broken pieces are fine)
  • 3 T (45 ml) brown sugar
  • 1 t (5 ml) ground cinnamon
  • finely grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 2 T (30 ml) fresh breadcrumbs

Syrup

  • ¾ cup (180 ml) sugar
  • juice from 2 oranges and water to make 1 cup (250 ml)
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 – 3 whole cloves

Pastry

  • 500 g phyllo pastry
  • 200 g butter
Method

Adjust oven rack to middle position. Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Process the nuts in a food processor until they are coarsely but not fully chopped. Mix in the cinnamon and brown sugar. Using a pastry brush, lightly butter a round ovenproof dish or rectangular pan. Gently unfold the phyllo pastry, covering it with a slightly damp tea towel to stop it drying out and cracking.

Brush the top pastry sheet with melted butter and lay in the prepared dish. Continue brushing and layering until you have used 4 sheets. Sprinkle over ⅕ of the nut mixture. Top with another 2 sheets of buttered phyllo pastry. Repeat layers ending with 4 layers of phyllo pastry.

Trim pastry overhang with a pair of scissors to neaten the overhang all round.

Cut top layer of pastry into 3 – 4 cm diamond shapes with a super sharp craft knife.

Bake for 1 hour until golden brown.

Meanwhile, prepare the syrup. In a saucepan set over a medium heat, simmer all the ingredients for about 15 minutes, allowing the liquid to reduce by about one-third. It should be slightly viscous in consistency. Stir occasionally and then leave to cool while the baklava is baking.

Remove the baklava from the oven and spoon half the syrup all over the top. Leave for 5 minutes and then spoon over the remaining syrup. Leave the baklava to cool before deep cutting and removing individual servings from the dish.

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