Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
We are making cyser and grabbed a couple cups for the baklava and it is the most amazing syrup ever.
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 cups hard alcoholic cider (or Cyser)
- 1 star anise (use 1 cinnamon stick if you don't have anise)
- 1 lemon, juice of (to taste, I usually add more)
- 2 -3 tablespoons honey
- 1 lb walnuts (may mix with almonds or pecans)
- 1⁄3 cup sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 lb phyllo dough
- 1 lb butter (melted and clarified if you prefer)
- whole cloves
- Use a heavy saucepan and dissolve the sugar in the cyser over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add lemon juice.
- When all the sugar has dissolved, reduce heat to a gentle boil. Do not stir often.
- Add honey once the syrup thickens. If you use a candy thermometer (I never have) it should register 230°F A drop of syrup on a cold plate will not spread.
- It takes about 20-25 minutes. Set aside to cool (but not to get cold).
- Preheat oven to 325 f.
- Finely chop the nuts. You want them as close to a meal as you can. I use the blender or food processor.
- Combine with sugar and spices. (Not the whole cloves).
- Place 6 phyllo sheets in a well buttered 13x9 inch baking pan. I think glass works best. Butter the top sheet generously.
- Sprinkle a thin layer of the nut mixture over the phyllo. You want it even and no dough showing, but not thicker than about 1/8 inch.
- Cover with 4 more phyllo sheets and generously butter the top sheet.
- Continue alternating nut mixture and phyllo until you run out of nuts. Top with 8 phyllo sheets and generously butter the top.
- If your sheets are too big for the pan, you may trim them or fold them over.
- Score into squares or diamonds. Place a whole clove in the center of each slice. Pieces are traditionally quite small as it is a very sweet dessert.
- Bake for 30 minutes, then lower the oven to 300 and bake for another 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Pour the warm syrup over the hot baklava. Let stand several hours, at least.
- Freezes well.