Baklava (The Queen of the Turkish Desserts)



BAKLAVA (The queen of Turkish Desserts) (Baklava)

1 box filo dough (frozen)
1 cup smashed walnuts
1 pound butter (margarine may not be substituted)

For syrup

1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 tsp lemon juice

Place sugar and water in a pot and boil for ten minutes (until thickened but not too thick) add lemon juice, boil for two more minutes. Set aside and let completely cool before pouring over baked baklava.

Let filo thaw (1 hour) open it flat and cut right in the middle. Use a 9x13 pyrex dish and butter it evenly with one teaspoon of butter. Melt rest of butter in a pan and spread half sheet in pyrex dish and brush with melted butter. Continue laying down half sheets brushing each layer with butter. When half the filo is thus stacked on top of each other, spread smashed walnuts evenly all over and continue with the second half the same way. Torn pieces may be used also but the very top layer must be whole. Take a sharp knife and begin cutting two inches wide strips and then diagonally so that you have the layered dough cut into diamond shapes. Brush top with remaining melted butter an bake in 350° for 40 minutes until golden. Pour the cold syrup on top as soon as you take the baked baklava out of the oven. Let cool and place each diamond shape piece on a platter. This keeps for a few days quite well and tastes better.

(Ground pistachio nuts may be substituted for walnuts.)