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1 lb package of phyllo/fillo pastry leaves, thawed but left in wrapper
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks) melted
Filling - mix in a medium bowl:
1 lb. chopped walnuts
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup honey
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 (1") strips of lemon rind
Because the phyllo leaves dry out very quickly, prepare everything in advance. Mix the walnuts, sugar and cinnamon. Melt the butter. Grease two 13 X 9 lasagna/cake pans (I use the aluminum ones) with some melted butter using a pastry brush. Preheat oven to 350 F.
Unwrap the phyllo leaves and cut in 1/2 so they will fit into the pans. Keep the sheets covered with a dish towel to keep them from drying out. Place 2 sheets of phyllo into the pan, baste with the melted butter with your pastry brush, do this with 4 more sheets, buttering between every 2 sheets of phyllo. Sprinkle 1/4 of the nut filling mix. Place 4 more sheets of phyllo, again, buttering between every two sheets. Sprinkle another 1/4 of the nut filling mix. Now, use the rest of the sheets from the first 1/2 of the phyllo sheets you cut, continue layering the sheets, basting every two sheets with the melted butter. Finish with a generous coating of the melted butter.
Repeat with the second pan.
With a VERY SHARP paring knife, cut the baklava into diamond shapes or squares being careful not to cut through the pan, but through as many layers as you can. Pour the remainder of the melted butter on top of the cut dough, dividing between the pans equally.
Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven to 300 F and continue baking for 20-30 minutes. Start looking at 20 minutes - if getting too dark, turn off the oven and leave the pans in the oven for the last 10 minutes.
During the last 30 minutes, make the syrup by putting all of the ingredients into a sauce pan and SIMMER - do not BOIL, stirring occasionally.
Immediately upon taking the pans out of the oven, pour the syrup through a strainer on top of the baklava - dividing between the two pans.
Let cool and enjoy.
NOTE: THIS CANNOT BE REFRIGERATED BECAUSE THE BUTTER WILL CONGEAL AND IS BEST EATEN THE SAME DAY.
TIP: For the calorie conscience, I try to cut a few very small pieces in each pan. That way, they can enjoy a bit of this heavenly dish, but not feel too guilty.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.