Made Baklava

"Say what you wish, it’s yours!  True dish!  How about a little more baklava?"
  --The Genie,
Aladdin, “Friend Like Me”

Baklava is a pastry made of phyllo and nuts and sweetened with syrup.  It’s a delicious dessert from Turkey, and it’s one of my favorite treats that I hardly ever take the opportunity to eat.

First, I made the syrup.  I cooked water, sugar, lemon juice, and corn syrup on the stove until the sugar had dissolved.  Then, I simmered it for another five minutes.  When that was done, I threw it in the refrigerator until I was ready for it later.

Next I made a mixture of sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom.

J and I finely chopped pistachio meats.

The pistachios went in with the sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom and I mixed that all up.

I greased a 13x9 pan with butter, and then I laid layers of phyllo dough down and brushed them with clarified butter (I had ghee that I bought from Whole Foods).

After twelve layers of dough, I put half of the pistachio nut mixture on.

Eight more layers of phyllo followed.

Then, the rest of the pistachios went on top of that.

That’s topped off with twelve more buttered phyllo dough layers.

I cut them diagonally.

Then, I poured a bunch of ghee on top of it so it was covered in delicious clarified butter.

It went in the oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees, then for another 30 minutes at 300 degrees.

I let it cool for ten minutes.

I poured the syrup I made earlier on top of the dish, and I covered it and left it to cool overnight.
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I took a piece out and plated it.

I was pleasantly surprised at how this came out.  It was really delicious.  It also was not overly complicated to make.  It is a bit time-consuming because of all the layering you have to do, but if you ask me, it was totally worth it.  It’s going to take a bit of self-control not to shove the entire pan down my gullet.
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