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January 6, 2011

Baklava

slices of baklava

Vangelis Thomaidis/Stock.xchng

Makes 20-25 servings

2 cups plus 6 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 cups finely chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups Earth Balance margarine
1 pound phyllo dough

Boil together two cups of sugar (reserve the rest) with the water for ten minutes. Add the lemon juice in the last few minutes. Turn off the heat and set the syrup aside to cool.

Combine the walnuts, cinnamon, and remaining six tablespoons of sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

Melt the margarine and brush some inside a 9x12-inch baking pan. Layer the phyllo dough in the pan. At every third sheet, brush the phyllo with melted margarine and sprinkle walnut filling evenly over the margarine. Trim the phyllo edges as you go and scatter the trimmings between the layers.

Reserve the remaining margarine.

Refrigerate the pan for 30 minutes (or 10 minutes in the freezer). Remove the pan, and with a sharp knife cut the pastry into diamond shapes.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 F (175 C) for 15 minutes. Pull the pan halfway out of the oven and spoon some of the leftover margarine (reheated) over each diamond.

Lower the oven temperature to 300 F (150 C) and bake for an additional hour or until the pastry is a light gold color. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes.

Spoon the cooled syrup over each diamond, repeating until most of the syrup is used. Reserve the leftover syrup to serve later with the finished baklava.

Notes

  • If the baklava browns too quickly, lower the oven temperature slightly and place a sheet of aluminum foil over the pan.
  • The baklava may be completely baked in advance, but don't pour the syrup over the top. On the day the baklava is to be served, heat the pan in an oven at 250 F (120 C) for 5-6 minutes, remove, and pour the cooled syrup over it.

Recipe adapted by Grace Markarian from Armenian Cooking Today

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