24 sheets phyllo dough
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups sugar
1 cup honey
1 and 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
5 whole cloves
4 cups pistachio, finely chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1)Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13×9 pan.
2) Begin by preparing the syrup. Stir the sugar, honey, water, lemon juice, and cloves over medium/low heat for five minutes. Check that the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat on stove to medium.
3) Continue to cook the syrup for five more minutes until it has a syrup consistency (225 degrees).
4) Remove pot from stove, spoon out whole cloves and discard them. Let the syrup cool slightly.
5) Prepare the filling in a seperate bowl by combining pistachios, sugar, cinnamon, and ground cloves.
6) Place one sheet of phyllo in greased pan. Lightly brush phyllo with melted butter. Place another sheet of phyllo in pan and brush with butter. Repeat six times.
7) Spread half of the pistachio filling on top of the eight layers of phyllo.
8) Place one sheet of phyllo over filling. Lightly brush phyllo with melted butter. Repeat seven times.
9) Spread the remaining half of the filling on top of the layers.
10) Finish with another eight sheets of phyllo, brushing butter between each sheet.
11) Take a sharp knife and cut the top sheets of baklava into 4 equal sections. Then cut diagonally at 1 1/2 inch intervals to form diamond shapes.
12) Before putting in the oven sprinkle top layer with water to prevent phyllo from curling.
13) Bake for 20 minutes.
14) Reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
15) Cut all the way through the scored lines making diagonal shapes.
16) Pour syrup over baklava while it is still hot. Let the baklava cool completely before serving.
*Recipe by Shelley Neese, vice president of The Jerusalem Connection. Click here for her articles and videos.