(from the life of Hayley Boberg)
1 cup sugar
1 cup honey
1 cup water
1 tbs. orange flower water
3 cups ground walnuts (or pecans, your preference)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
and a lot of melted butter, of course
Dear Mom, my birthday is in 3 months. Do you see this beautiful Cuisinart 14-cup stainless steel food processor? It's all I've ever wanted.
To make the filling: Grind up the nuts in a beautiful machine, and mix in the sugar, ground cinnamon, and cloves.
Lay the fillo dough onto a stone or cookie sheet with no edges. Cut edges of fillo dough until it fits properly on the stone. Pull fillo dough off. No, you aren't finished yet.
Place one sheet of dough back onto the stone, and with a basting brush, coat with butter. Place second sheet on top, coat with butter, etc. When coating with butter, alternate between coating the middle of the sheet and the edges. Be sure the edges are sealed together, or it will be hard to cut and it will bake too crisply. If your fillo dough has creases (which it probably does), you'll want to flip some around before placing on to keep it stronger.
Continue until you've used about half the fillo, than spread the filling across the top. It will be about 1/6 of an inch high. Stick on another sheet of dough, and begin the process again. It is a little trickier now, as the filling makes the dough move around a lot more.
It becomes really flaky after it is baked and can be hard to work with, so we (Hayley) recommend cutting the top few layers before baking. Stick in in the oven at 325 for about 50 minutes, until golden brown.
Making the syrup is simple! Stir the cup of sugar, cup of water, and cup of honey together and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer for 25 minutes without stirring. It takes some serious self-control, but you can do it. If it starts to overflow just adjust the heat. When you are finished, stir in the 1 tbsp. of orange flower water. Pour the syrup on when you pull the golden baklava out of the oven!
Bon appetit! Actually, I should probably find out how the Greek say it...
No, you won't get these beautiful pictures every time. These happened on a beautiful saturday morning where only the light from the windows was needed. And I had dedicated my whole day to it. Just wait until you see the pictures from the two cakes I started making two hours before my roommate's birthday party. Then you won't be so impressed!