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How To Make Baklava

5 from 4 votes
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Ingredients

  • 16 ounces of unsalted pecans, roasted
  • 8 ounces of unsalted almonds, roasted
  • 8 ounces of salted pistachios, roasted (if using unsalted, add about 1/4 teaspoon salt to nut mixture)
  • 2 whole vanilla beans, scraped
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 pound of phyllo dough
  • 2 3/4 sticks, about 1 1/3 cups or 22 tablespoons(!) of unsalted butter, melted

honey vanilla bean simple syrup

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoons vanilla bean paste
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

Instructions 

  • Thaw phyllo dough according to directions on package, then unroll. Once thawed, cover with a slightly damp towel to keep pliable.
  • Combine nuts in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, adding the contents of the vanilla bean in two or three separate pulses. Once chopped, add nuts to a large bowl and combine with brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and cloves, then thoroughly mix.
  • Melt butter on the stovetop or in the microwave. Using a pastry brush, brush an entire 9x 13 pan with melted butter. Layer 8 sheets of phyllo dough – each one painted with melted butter – in the baking dish. Be very patient and gentle with the dough, and if it begins to rip, just try to push it into place. After layer 8, spread 1/4 of the nut mixture evenly over the dough. At this point, I wasn’t sure how the next sheet of phyllo would stick to the nuts, so I took my pastry brush and drizzled a bit of butter over the nuts. This helps!
  • After the first layer of nuts, layer 4 sheets of phyllo on top – each one brushed with melted butter. Repeat this 3 more times: 1 layer of nuts, 4 sheets of phyllo, 1 layer of nuts, 4 sheets of phyllo, then a fourth layer of nuts. After that layer, add 8 sheets of phyllo on top (instead of just 4) like you did in the beginning, brushing each with melted butter. If there is any butter left, pour it over top. Stick the whole pan in the fridge and refrigerate for 30 minutes. As soon as you stick it in the fridge, preheat the oven.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove baklava from fridge and using a sharp knife, cut as desired. I set my pan down horizontally, then made four cuts from left to right. I then started in a corner and cut diagonals. Once cut, place pan in the oven and bake for 40 minutes. As soon as you place it in the oven, make your syrup below.
  • If the top of the baklava gets to brown, tent it with aluminum foil. When finished baking, remove from oven and gently cut out a corner piece. Tilt the pan and if there is any butter laying, drain it. While the baklava is hot, evenly pour the syrup over top. Let set (ideally overnight, covered with aluminum foil once cool) before cutting and serving.
  • To make syrup: Combine all ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and let cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Before drizzling, remove cinnamon stick.

Notes

[lightly adapted from tyler florence]
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