Baklava is known the world over as one of the most majestic and exotic desserts. Actually, it is very easy to prepare. It is important that you have all the ingredients assembled in advance and then you will be assured of perfect results every time.
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Cook together the sugar, water and honey and simmer the mixture for 15 minutes or until it is syrupy. Add lemon juice and set aside to cool.
1 pound walnuts, coarsely chopped. (This can be done in a food processor.)
3/4 cup sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
Combine nuts, sugar and cinnamon and mix thoroughly.
1 cup butter (2 sticks), melted
1/2 cup oil
Combine butter and oil and stir until blended.
1 pound filo (strudel) leaves
Have syrup, nut mixture, basting mixture and filo leaves ready. Brush a 9 x 13-inch pan with basting mixture. Now start layering in the following order. Place 2 filo leaves in pan. Sprinkle 6 tablespoons nut mixture evenly over top. Place 1 filo leaf over the nuts. Baste this one generously with basting mixture. Cover with 1 filo leaf. Sprinkle with 6 tablespoons nut mixture.
Alternate layers in the same fashion, 1 filo leaf, basting
mixture, 1 filo leaf, nut mixture until the nuts are all used
up. Place 2 filo leaves over the top. Cut the Baklava into diamond
shapes. Sprinkle top with 3 tablespoons sesame seeds. Bake in
a 350° oven for 40 minutes or until top is golden brown. Remove
from oven and immediately pour the cooled syrup evenly over the
top. Allow to cool in pan. Yields 48 diamonds
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