1 cup (250 ml) shelled pistachios
1¼ cup (310 ml) blanched almonds
1¼ cup (310 ml) roughly chopped walnuts
1½ tsp (7.5 ml) ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
3 tbsp (45 ml) sugar
1 pinch salt
1 cup (250 ml) melted Clarified Butter, make ahead
1 lb (500 g) phyllo pastry
Sugar-Honey Syrup, make ahead
1½ cup (375 ml) butter
¾ cup (175 ml) sugar
½ cup (125 ml) honey
⅔ cup (150 ml) water
1½ tbsp (22 ml) lemon juice
½ lemon, peel only (use potato peeler to make lemon strips)
1 cinnamon stick, approximately 3-in (8 cm) long
1 pinch salt
1½ tsp (7.5 ml) rose water
- In a food processor, coarsely chop pistachios, almonds and walnuts separately before combining together. Reserve 3 tbsp (45 ml) for garnish. Add cinnamon, cloves, sugar and salt to nut mixture and combine. Set aside.
- Adjust oven rack to centre of oven and preheat to 300 F (150 C). Lightly grease 9-in (23 cm) round springform baking pan.
- Unroll phyllo pastry on clean surface. Using base of springform pan, cut 2 circles through stack of phyllo sheets at opposite corners. One stack of circles may not be perfectly round. Use them for centre layers in recipe. Lightly cover both stacks of phyllo sheets with plastic wrap and drape damp towel over to avoid pastry from drying.
- lace 1 sheet of phyllo in springform baking pan and brush thoroughly with melted Clarified Butter. Repeat with another 7 to 8 sheets making sure to brush each thoroughly. Spread about 1 cup (250 ml) of nut filling over phyllo sheets. Lay 1 phyllo sheet over filling and gently brush with butter, this sheet can be slippery. Follow with another 5 sheets, each brushed with butter.
- Spread another 1 cup (250 ml) of nut filling over phyllo layers. Repeat layering another 6 phyllo sheets, each brushed with butter. Spread another 1 cup (250 ml) of nut filling over phyllo layers. Repeat layering remaining 9 to 10 phyllo sheets over, brushing each with butter, except for last one.
- Remove air pockets by compressing baklava using palms. Start from centre and work outwards towards edge. Brush top of baklava generously using about ¼ cup (60 ml) of Clarified Butter. Using a sharp paring knife, cut into diamond shapes (try to cut through all layers as much as possible).
- Bake for 1 hour. Rotate and continue baking for additional 30 minutes or until golden and crisp. Remove from oven and immediately pour Sugar-Honey Syrup over baklava, covering all cut grooves and sides. Brush surface of baklava with syrup and garnish with reserved nuts. Let cool and rest for 6 to 8 hours for flavours to meld, before serving.
- To make CLARIFIED BUTTER: In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Remove from heat and rest for 15 minutes. Skim top foamy part with a spoon and discard. Very carefully, pour the clear, golden butter into a bowl. Be careful not to include any milk solids that settle at bottom of pan. Makes about 1 cup (250 ml).
- To make SUGAR-HONEY SYRUP: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring all ingredients except rose water to a boil. Stir occasionally to prevent boiling syrup from spilling over. Turn off heat. Add rose water. Stir and set aside to cool. Syrup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Remove lemon peel and spices before refrigerating. Bring to room temperature before using. Makes about 1¾ cups (425 ml).