Baklava

1 package frozen Phyllo sheets – defrost for at least 24 hours in fridge
4 finely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon zest
3 Tablespoons cinnamon
1 pound melted butter
1 1/2 cups honey
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 lemon, seeded and cut in quarters
!Assemble the following:
1 13-inch x 9-inch pan
1 pastry brush, or use a 2 1/2-inch paint brush just for this purpose
1 large sheet waxed paper
1 cotton hand towel
1 sharp Paring knife
1 pair kitchen shears (if available)
1 package foil lined cupcake papers

Combine the walnuts, cinnamon, lemon zest, sugar and set aside.
Open the Phyllo sheets onto the waxed paper and split along the middle fold to create rectangular sheets that will be slightly larger than the 13-inch x 9-inch pan.
Cover the Phyllo with dish towel. Turn off the ceiling fan if you have one.
Brush the pan lightly with melted butter.
sheets at a time, place Phyllo in pan gently patting into corners with brush to avoid large air pockets. Gently brush melted butter between each double layer.
** the bottom of the pan should have about 16-20 sheets or 8-10 double layers.
*** don’t soak the Phyllo with butter, just moisten it.
Spread 1/2 of the nut filling over the Phyllo.
Place 2 double layers (4 sheets) of Phyllo over the mixture.
Spread the 2nd half of the nut mixture onto the thin middle layer of Phyllo.
Repeat the process that was done for the bottom layers of Phyllo using 16-20 sheets or 8-10 double layers.
** this is a lot like making Lasagna.
Trim the Phyllo that is extended over the sides of the pan, but keep the filling enclosed in Phyllo.
Place pan in fridge for 15 minutes till the butter has solidified.
Score the top layers of Phyllo with a sharp paring knife in a diamond pattern, cutting deep enough to reach the top layer of nuts.
* you should yield 48-60 pieces.
Bake in a 350-Degree F oven till golden brown. Approximately 45-55 minutes. Do not under bake. Cool on wire rack.
** the Phyllo will curl up where it was scored.
Combine the honey, sugar, water and lemon quarters and bring to gentle boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
*****Skim off the foam that will form and discard the lemon once cooking time is completed.
Once the Baklava is baked and cooled, pour the hot syrup slowly over the cooled Baklava till absorbed. You’ll probably have a little less than a cup of extra syrup which is fantastic on French toast or pancakes.
When completely cooled cut each row all the way through and place in foil lined cups.
You may cut a row at a time as you use the Baklava to keep the pieces intact.
This can be frozen unbaked, after baking-before adding the syrup or after completely prepared.
**it’s best to pour hot syrup over cool Baklava OR cool syrup over hot Baklava.

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