Baklava, multi-culti style recipe

Published September 16, 2010 1:01PM (EDT)



  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ stick cinnamon
  • 2 slices peeled, fresh ginger (each should be about the size of a nickel and about ¼ inch thick)
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice


  • 1¼ cups roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 1/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 2 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


  • ½ pound phyllo dough, thawed
  • 6 ounces (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted

Equipment: a 9½ x 14-inch baking pan or slightly larger cookie sheet


  1. First, make the syrup: Combine all ingredients in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Remove pan from heat as soon as the mixture starts to boil. Do not allow it to reduce.
  3. When the syrup is cool, transfer it to a storage container and put it in the refrigerator. The syrup needs to be cold when poured over the cooked baklava, so should be made ahead of time.
  4. Make filling: Put all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the nuts and coconut are finely chopped, but not pasty. Set mixture aside until you're ready to assemble the baklava.
  5. Assemble the baklava: Grease the baking pan or cookie sheet. Carefully unroll the phyllo dough, keeping it covered as you work so it doesn't dry out and become brittle. Keep the butter warm and liquid as you work.
  6. Place a sheet of phyllo in the bottom of the greased baking pan. Smooth it out to remove any wrinkles, and brush its entire surface with melted butter. (The brand of phyllo I used came in sheets that fit a 9½ x 14-inch pan almost exactly; if your sheets are larger, cut them to fit.) Repeat this process until you have 10 layers of buttered phyllo. When layering the phyllo sheets, try to avoid getting air pockets between the layers.
  7. Sprinkle 1/3 of the filling evenly over the 10 layers of buttered phyllo.
  8. Top the filling with a sheet of phyllo, brush the sheet with melted butter, then top with a second sheet of phyllo and brush that with butter as well.
  9. Repeat steps 7-8 once.
  10. Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 of the filling evenly over the phyllo layer, then top with 5 sheets of phyllo, buttering each sheet as you go.
  11. Freeze the assembled baklava for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  12. When the baklava is partly frozen, remove it from the freezer. Using a serrated knife, trim the edges and score it into 2-inch squares, cutting through all layers of phyllo. If desired, score each of the squares into two triangles.
  13. Bake the baklava until the top layer is golden brown, about 50 minutes.
  14. While the baklava is still warm, pour the cold syrup evenly over it so that all pieces are covered. Allow the baklava to cool before serving.

By Felicia Lee

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