World Famous, Super Secret Baklava recipe

This is best done over two days, make the filling and syrup the first day, then assemble the next.

Filling

7 cups Walnuts (shelled)

2 tsp Cinnamon

2 tsp Ground Cloves

3 tsp Nutmeg

1/2 cup sugar

zest of one orange

Grind walnuts roughly, don’t powder them, the chunks should be about half the size of peas. Do not refridgerage.

Syrup

5 cups sugar

5 cups cold water

1/2 cup honey

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 sliced orange

1/2 sliced lemon

1 tbsp whole cloves

2oz brandy (Naploeon is fine, though Metaxa is traditional)

Mix the sugar and water in a medium pot, stirring often. Heat until steam rises from the top, and sugar is all dissolved. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a medium boil. Reduce heat, simmer slowly for 4 hours. Remove from heat, strain scum and leftover orange/lemon/cinnamon/cloves bits out. (A thin sieve works best for this, a coffee filter removes too much flavour) Cool to room temperature, store in glass if possible.

Assembly

Walnut Filling

Filo Pastry

Melted butter

Whole Cloves

Cold water

Syrup

Preheat over @ 325. Liberally butter the pan (12×18 ish ?). Lay down one layer of filo pastry, then brush with melted butter. Repeat until you have 12 layers of buttered filo. (Filo-butter-filo-butter-etc) Sprinkle one even layer of filling on the top (~1/3-1 cup, depends on the size of the pan), until just covered. Place two layer of filo on top of filling, buttering each. Repeat this process (Sprinkle filling, then two layers of buttered filo, then filling, then filo, etc) until 1/2″ from top of pan. Top with 6-8 layers of buttered filo. Score baklava into diamonds. Place a whole clove into the middle of each piece, to hold the top layers in place. Spray lightly with cold water. Bake in preheated 325 oven for 45 minutes. Cover the baklava with a pan, continue cooking for another 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, then cut along scored lines. Pour ~1/2 of the syrup mix over the baklava. When the syrup has been absorbed, pour the remaining syrup over. Do not over-saturate. Serve within 48 hours.