Crisp, flaky, buttery Middle Eastern baklava filled with fragrant nuts and spices and a sweetened rose water syrup.
- 2 3/4 cups shelled pistachios
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks or 24 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 1 pound (14 x 9-inch) phyllo, thawed
- 1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 oz.) granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 10 whole peppercorns
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon rose water
- In a food processor, pulse pistachios until finely chopped Transfer to a medium bowl and toss with the remaining filling ingredients. Measure out 1 tablespoon to use for garnishing.
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter until milk solids have separated from the butterfat and has collected onto the bottom of the pan, about 10 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat and allow butter to settle for 10 minutes.
- Using a spoon, carefully skim and discard foam from the surface of the butter. Slowly pour clear butterfat into a bowl leaving behind all milk solids in the pan. NOTE: 1 cup of clarified butter should remain.
- Heat oven to 300 degrees F. Using the clarified butter, grease the bottom of a 13×9-inch baking pan. NOTE: to prevent phyllo sheets from drying out in between layering, cover the sheets with its plastic wrap and place a damp towel over the plastic.
- Place 1 phyllo sheet fitted onto the bottom of the greased baking pan. Brush coat the entire sheet with clarified butter. Repeat layering of 7 sheets coating in between each sheet with clarified butter.
- Evenly sprinkle 1 cup of pistachio filling and repeat layering of 6 phyllo sheets brush coating in between each sheet with clarified butter.
- Sprinkle with 1 cup pistachio filling. Layer the remaining 7-10 phyllo sheets into the pan brush coating each sheet with clarified butter.
- Using the palms of your hands, gently press above the center of the baklava and push outwards to reduce any air pockets. Spoon and brush coat remaining butter across the top sheet.
- Using a serrated knife, cut baklava into diamonds. Bake for 60-90 minutes till baklava is golden in color and crisp.
- Meanwhile, in a 2-quart saucepan, bring all ingredients to a boil; stir occasionally to ensure sugar dissolves. Transfer syrup into a shallow pan or bowl and set aside to cool.
- Once syrup has cooled, remove the peppercorns and stir in rose water. NOTE: syrup can be refrigerated up to 4 days.
- When baklava has finished baking, pour syrup over the top. Garnish the center of each piece with remaining pistachio filling. Allow baklava to cool for 8 hours before serving. ENJOY!
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern