Wildflower honey adds a delicate floral scent to this classic dessert, but almond honey would also work well in this recipe. If you can't find unsalted pistachios, use salted and omit the added 1/8 teaspoon salt.
1 1/2 cups wildflower honey
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 whole cloves
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
2/3 cup unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup blanched unsalted almonds, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon salt
24 (14 x 9-inch) sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
1 tablespoon water
How to Make It
To prepare syrup, combine honey, 1/2 cup water, juice, cloves, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan over low heat; stir until honey is completely dissolved (about 2 minutes). Increase heat to medium; cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 230° (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat; keep warm. Remove solids with a slotted spoon; discard.
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare filling, combine pistachios and next 6 ingredients (through salt); set aside.
Lightly coat a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Working with 1 phyllo sheet at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent drying), place 1 phyllo sheet lengthwise in bottom of prepared pan, allowing end of sheet to extend over edges of dish; lightly coat with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with 5 phyllo sheets and cooking spray for a total of 6 layers. Sprinkle phyllo evenly with one-third of nut mixture (about 2/3 cup). Repeat procedure with phyllo, cooking spray, and nut mixture 2 more times. Top last layer of nut mixture with remaining 6 sheets phyllo, each one lightly coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat top phyllo sheet with cooking spray; press baklava gently into pan. Sprinkle baklava surface with 1 tablespoon water.
Make 3 even lengthwise cuts and 7 even crosswise cuts to form 32 portions using a sharp knife. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until the phyllo is golden brown. Remove from oven. Drizzle honey mixture evenly over baklava. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Store covered at room temperature.
OK, so I've changed it a little by adding more filling and using butter (with a little toasted sesame oil!) but the original goal of using all honey was almost achieved. I am surprised at how many recipes use mostly sugar. Can anyone tell me if the sugar in the filling is necessary? I want to try this with just honey but don't want to ruin a batch experimenting since it's a lot of effort and materials. Sorry to use this space to ask a question but I'm trying to make improvements on an already excellent recipe.
I can't tell you how GOOD this was. I was thinking it would be missing something because of the butter, but OH my goodness...this was out of this world. We will make this again and again. Honestly, you have no idea how fabulous it is. My only complaint was having to shell the pistachios (can't find unshelled) and they were salted so we just didn't add the extra salt--but it was so good it was worth it. Yes, a bit labor intensive, but really wonderful!
Made this for a recent Greek-themed dinner with friends - HUGE success...I've been doing a weekly dessert for 6 months and was told this is my best yet! Couldn't find wildflower honey so I used regular, but followed everything else exactly. Absolutely DELICIOUS, and is rich enough that it is it's own portion control. MUST try - bon appetit! :D