Who could resist crisp pastry layered with nuts drenched with honey syrup?
A truly scrumptious way to celebrate the New Year. Remember to add the cold syrup to the hot pastry to keep that crunch. You might notice there are two pieces missing that just happened to fall off and into my mouth while it was still warm!
INGREDIENTS: Syrup: 150g caster sugar 340g clear honey Juice of a large lemon Baklava: One pack filo pastry, thawed according to pack instructions 250g shelled pistachios 250g shelled walnuts 50g caster sugar 1-2 tbsp cinnamon Large pinch of ground cloves, optional 250g butter or margarine, melted and cooled Dried rose petals (optional)
Put the sugar and 250ml cold water in a large pan and dissolve the sugar over a medium heat. Add the honey and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 25 minutes.
Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and leave to cool in the pan.
Heat oven to 180°C and wet a large clean tea towel, under the cold tap before wringing out well. Brush a large 23cm x 33cm foil tray or flat baking sheet generously with melted butter then line with a sheet of baking parchment.
Pulse the nuts with the sugar, cinnamon and cloves (if using) to a medium size in a food processor. You need texture not nut butter! Start with 1 tbsp cinnamon and add more to taste.
Unroll the filo and cover with the damp tea towel.
Start layering up the first 1/3 of the pastry by laying a sheet of filo on the pan and brushing the top with melted butter, you may need to fold your filo in half to fit, just remember to brush butter between each layer.
Once you have layered up the first 1/3, scatter approximately half the nut mixture evenly over the top.
Repeat with the next 1/3 of the filo, scatter with the rest of the nuts and then add the final 1/3 finishing with a generous layer of melted butter.
Take a sharp knife and cut the baklava right through to the bottom into a diamond pattern diagonally across the pan.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 35-45 minutes. Check halfway through and cover with foil if browning too quickly.
Remove from the oven and immediately pour over the cooled syrup evenly then allow to cool in the tin.
Re-cut the pieces before garnishing with any leftover chopped nuts and dried rose petals.