- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- juice of ½ lemon
- strip of lemon peel
- 2 or 3 small cinnamon sticks
- 1 cup almonds, crushed but with some texture
- 1 cup walnuts, crushed but with some texture
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 22 sheets phyllo pastry*, cut to the dimensions of your dish about 2/3 cup (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, melted to golden brown
- 30 or so whole cloves, for decorating
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas 4).
- To make the syrup, put the sugar, honey, lemon juice, lemon peel and cinnamon in a saucepan with 1 cup water and bring to a boil, stirring. Simmer for 5 to 6 minutes, then take off the heat and cool.
- Mix the almonds, walnuts, sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Have the phyllo sheets ready, covered by a dish cloth to prevent them from drying out. Brush the base of an 8½ ´ 12-inch baking dish with butter. Lay 1 sheet of phyllo on the bottom and brush with butter. Cover with another sheet, brush it with butter and continue in this way until you have a neat stack of 10 sheets lining the bottom of the dish. Spread half the nut mixture over the phyllo, patting it down firmly and leveling the surface. Cover with another 2 sheets of phyllo, buttering each one. Scatter the rest of the nuts over evenly and press down gently. Now lay down the last 10 sheets of phyllo, buttering each one, of course, and finishing with the last layer buttered.
- Using a small sharp knife, cut diamonds on the diagonal of about 2½ ´ 2½ inches. Cut all the way through the layers of phyllo, as this will make it easier to lift out the pieces when serving. Flick just a little cold water over the top to prevent the layers from curling up. Stud the center of each diamond with a clove. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until gently golden on top. Gently pour half the syrup all over the baklava. Wait for it to be absorbed, then pour over the rest. Leave to cool totally before serving. Will keep, unrefrigerated, for at least a week, covered with a dish cloth or foil to deter bees and flies.
*** The dimensions of commercial phyllo change from brand to brand, so you will need to work out the number of phyllo sheets you require in the beginning, according to the maker’s dimensions.