Gather the water, 2 cups of sugar, lemon juice and the orange blossom water to make the simple-syrup (Attar).
In a pot, combine the water and two cups of sugar and bring to a boil. Once you have reached a boil, add the 1 tbsp of lemon juice and allow to gently boil for 7 minutes before removing from heat.
After seven minutes, add 1 tsp of orange blossom water to give the simple-syrup an authentic Middle Eastern flavor. If you prefer to leave it out, the syrup will still be delicious.
Allow the simple-syrup to cool down while you prepare the rest of the baklava.
Chop (or place in a food processor) the walnuts into small pieces and place in a large mixing bowl. If using a processor, be careful not to process the walnuts too fine.
Next add the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to the chopped walnuts. (You can adjust the amount of these according to your preference)
Add 1 tbsp of melted butter to the chopped walnuts and spices and mix well.
Carefully remove FILO dough from the box and place on a dry clean surface. You will notice it is very fragile so take care not to tear it.
Tip: keep a damp tea towel over the FILO dough to keep it slightly moist and workable.
Place 500 grams of butter in a pot and melt over low heat. Once melted, turn your stovetop burner to the lowest possible setting to keep butter melted.
Get your baking tray and brush some of the melted butter along the bottom and sides.
Place 1 sheet of FILO dough on baking tray, brushing lightly and evenly with butter. Place another sheet of FILO on top and repeat this step until you have 20 layers of buttered FILO.
Before adding the nut mixture, use a knife to carefully trim off the extra FILO dough. (Ignore the nuts in this picture, I accidently jumped ahead of myself!)
Pour nut mixture on top of the 20 layers of buttered FILO dough.
Spread mixture evenly over dough.
Repeat the FILO dough and butter process again for 16 layers. Do NOT butter the last sheet of FILO!
With a sharp knife, carefully cut straight lines from top to bottom, making sure to cut all the way down to the base of baking tray.
If you want diamond-shaped baklava, cut diagonal lines, starting from one corner of the baking tray to the other. (You may want to visualize this step before you start the cutting.)
Once done cutting, evenly pour the remaining melted butter over the top of the cut baklava. You can always melt more butter if you ran out, or skip this step if you are terrified by all the butter!
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C) and place the tray inside oven, then lower oven temp to 275 F (135 C). Bake from 1 - 1.5 hours, or until top is lightly golden. (Baking time varies depending on oven)
Remove baklava from the oven - it should smell buttery and sweet and look something like this!
Once cool, remove baklava from tray. Garnish baklava with crushed pistachios if you like and enjoy - sahtein! (aka bon appetit!)
- 500.0g Chopped walnuts (or your preference)
- 2.0 Packages of FILO dough (375 g each)
- 1/2c Sugar
- 1.0tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2tsp Nutmeg (optional)
- 500.0g Butter (plus a tablespoon)
- 1.0 Baking tray e.g Pyrex
- 1.0 Brush (to brush the butter)
- 1.0Tbsp Lemon juice
- 1.0c Water
- 1.0tsp Orange blossom water (optional)