1 16oz box of Phyllo dough
2 cups chopped Walnuts
1/4 of an Orange, zested
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Cardamom
Pinch of Salt
2 & 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
Orange Blossom Simple Syrup
1 cup Water
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon Orange Blossom syrup
1 tablespoon Honey
1 Cinnamon stick
3 Orange peel strips
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 15-18 minutes
Cool time: 2 hours
Total time: approximately 3 hours & 1/2 hours
Defrost Phyllo dough until it comes to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees [F].
In a pot, mix together water, sugar, Orange Blossom syrup, Honey, Orange peels, & Cinnamon Stick & bring to a gentle boil. Once it comes to a boil & all of the sugar is dissolved, turn off stove & let simple syrup cool off to the side.
While simple syrup cools, finely chop Walnuts in a food processor. You want them to be finely chopped, not a dust. Mix in Cinnamon, Cardamom, Salt, & Orange Zest.
Melt 2 & 1/2 sticks unsalted butter & lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. Gently layer 2 pieces of Phyllo dough at a time, making sure to paint a layer of butter on each second piece. It’s best to use a baking brush for this & go slowly, as Phyllo is delicate & breaks easily. [For a neat Baklava, also pre-cut the Phyllo dough before layering so it fits nicely into the pan.]
Continue this layering method until about half of the Phyllo dough is used.
Gently & evenly layer the ground Walnuts, & finish layering with the remaining Phyllo dough. Make sure to leave a bit of ground Walnuts to decorate the Baklava after it cooks.
After the last layer of Phyllo dough is used, cover with remaining melted butter & gently cut into desired shapes with a sharp knife.
Cook Baklava for 15-18 minutes or until top is golden brown.
Pour thickened simple syrup over Baklava as soon as it comes out of the oven. Let sit for a minimum of 2 hours to let the simple syrup soak the entire pastry.
Re-cut Baklava & sprinkle remaining ground Walnuts on top for garnish. Will keep in refrigerator for up to 4 days, covered.