How to make the perfect baklava - KMSP-TV

How to make the perfect baklava

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(WJBK) -

Get this recipe courtesy of Louise Wibbelman and her daughter Anna.

You can sample eats like this during Opa! Fest, metro Detroit's largest celebration of Hellenic culture and cuisine. Learn more about the festivities happening June 21-23 at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Troy at www.opafest.com.

Ingredients

For the Baklava:
1 pound walnuts, coarsely ground
1/2 cup sugar
1/2-1 tsp ground cinnamon, to taste
4 sticks unsalted butter, melted
1 package phyllo dough (thawed, if frozen), cut in half (Note: cover phyllo with damp paper towel to prevent drying)

For the syrup:
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 6-8 oz. jar of honey
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the chopped walnuts, cinnamon and sugar.

Using a 9-by-13-inch baking dish coat bottom and sides with butter, spread with fingers or a paper towel. Using two sheets of phyllo at a time, layer and lightly drizzle with butter each layer until 10 pieces of phyllo fill the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle a quarter of the nut mixture evenly over the dough. Using another two sheets of phyllo at a time, layer 4 sheets of phyllo on top of the nut mixture, drizzling each consecutive layer with butter then sprinkle with another quarter of the nut mixture. Repeat process of layering two sheets phyllo, butter and nut mixture as above three more times.

For the top: Again, using two sheets of phyllo at a time, layer and drizzle each top layer with butter until 10 sheets of phyllo are used. Drizzle the top with extra butter. With a serrated knife, cut into the baklava to make strips, about 1 1/2 inches wide. Then, slice on the diagonal, about 1 1/2 inches apart, to create the traditional diamond pattern. Bake until golden brown, about 1 hour.

For the syrup: Bring the sugar, honey and 1 cup water to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat and cook until the sugar dissolves, about 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice and boil 2 more minutes, then let cool on the top of the stove until baklava is done.

Pour the syrup over the war baklava; let syrup soak into the baklava, uncovered, at least 6 hours or overnight.

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