Middle Eastern Baklava

Middle Eastern style baklava is different than Greek style. They use different spices and sweeteners. Traditionally the dough is rolled in to long thin logs and cut before being baked. I fold the sides in and roll them individually. I helps the nuts stay in the pastry.

1 box phyllo dough
2 sticks butter, melted

1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cardamom
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 c. walnuts
1/4 c. pistachios

1 c. sugar
3/4 c. water
1 - 2 drops orange blossom water

In a food processor grind the pistachios until the are a coarse meal. Remove from the food processor and add the walnuts, sugar, cinnamon and cardamom. Process until they are coarse as well and add the pistachios. Mix to combine. Reserve half a cup of the nut mixture

Combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes and remove from the heat. Allow to cool slightly before adding the orange blossom water. Chill in the fridge until ready to use.

Remove the phyllo from the sleeve and cover with a lightly moistened cloth. You don't want the sheets of phyllo dough to dry out but if the cloth is too wet the dough will turn in to a sticky mass. 

Brush the sheet with butter. Place 2 tablespoons of the nut mixture on the top middle of the phyllo sheet. Fold both sides in so you have a long thing sheet and roll the dough with the nut mixture inside. Place in a pan with at least 1 inch sides. 

Repeat with the remaining dough and place in the pan with the sides touching. 

Once all the dough and nuts are used brush the top with butter and bake at 350 until golden. 

Remove from the oven and immediately pour half of the sugar syrup over the top. Let it absorb the sugar and then pour the rest over the top. Sprinkle the reserved nuts over the top. 

Traditionally you serve once it has cooled but I like it when they are hot out of the oven.


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