Mom's Baklava recipe
phyllo (filo) pastry sheets
Spread nuts in a shallow baking pan and toast at 300℉ (150℃) for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Combine ¾ cup sugar, water and cinnamon stick in a saucepan.
Boil until clear.
Add honey and heat until well-blended.
Cool and remove cinnamon stick.
Combine ½ cup sugar, lemon peel, and ground cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.
Mash together with back of a spoon to blend citrus oil with sugar.
Add cooled toasted nuts and mix well.
Butter a 9x13 inch pan.
Line it with 3 sheets of filo, each of which has been brushed with melted butter.
Let filo overlap sides of pan.
Sprinkle with ½ cup of nut mixture.
Repeat, alternating 2 sheets of buttered filo and nut mixture, ending with filo.
(After the second set of sheets overlap the edges of the pan, start folding the sheets in half after they are buttered. They will fit almost perfectly in the pan.)
After you put in the final sheet of filo, fold the filo that has been hanging off the pan back onto the top sheet of filo so you have a neat, sealed package.
Using a razor blade or very sharp knife, cut through the top layer of filo, making lengthwise strips 1½ inches wide.
Cut diagonally, making diamonds.
Bake at 325℉ (160℃) for 1 hour or until golden brown.
Remove from oven, place pan on rack, and quickly cut pieces through completely.
Immediately pour cooled honey syrup over the baklava.
Stop when you run out of syrup or when the baklava stops sizzling when the syrup hits it.
This will help keep it crispy and keep it from becoming soggy.
Cool and serve.
Makes about 4 dozen pieces.
Note: A whole almond can be placed on the centre of the pastry if desired.