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Desserts

Baklava with Orange & Cardamom

There are as many versions of this sticky delight as there are cultures around the world that make it. But this Persian-style variation stands out from the crowd, and for good reason. Made with both almonds and pistachios, and flavored with Persian mainstays like orange, cardamom, and rose water, this is surely a treat you can’t pass up.

If you thought making baklava was only for the experienced baker, it’s not. This multi-layer confection is simple with essentially only three components — a flavorful syrup, a ground nut filling, and layers of phyllo brushed with butter.

To yield crisp, flaky layers, the syrup must be cool when poured over the hot baklava. Then, for the nuts, process them until very fine — some will be sandy, while others will be a little coarser, the variation is OK. And to keep the phyllo from drying out, you must work quickly while assembling. But don’t worry if you end up with a tear here or there. With so many layers of phyllo and nuts, you’ll never know.

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Ingredients

FOR THE SYRUP, SIMMER:

OFF HEAT, STIR IN:

FOR THE BAKLAVA, PROCESS:

BRUSH:

Test Kitchen Tip

Cardamom is a key component to this baklava, so be sure to grind fresh pods rather than used preground, which loses some of its flavor over time.

Instructions

For the syrup, simmer sugar, honey, water, salt, and orange juice in a saucepan over medium heat until syrup reaches 235°.

Off heat, stir in cardamom, lemon juice, zest, and rose water. Cool syrup completely, then strain and discard solids.

Preheat oven to 350°.

For the baklava, process almonds and pistachios separately, each with 2 Tbsp. sugar, in a food processor until finely ground; transfer to a bowl and combine.

Brush bottom and sides of a 9×13-inch baking pan with melted butter.

Layer 10 phyllo sheets in bottom of pan, lightly brushing each sheet with butter; evenly top with onethird nut mixture.

Repeat procedure twice more, drizzling 2 Tbsp. syrup over 20th and 30th sheets. Finally, layer and butter remaining 10 phyllo sheets. Let baklava rest 10 minutes, then cut into diamonds. Lightly wet fingers with water then evenly flick over top of baklava.

Bake baklava until golden brown, 45–50 minutes, then run a knife along cut lines to ensure it’s cut all the way through. While baklava is hot, pour cool syrup evenly over top, allowing it to run into the cuts and around edges. Cool baklava completely, then cover, and rest overnight before eating.

Baklava-with-Orange-Cardamom-Step1

Don’t worry about brushing every inch of phyllo with butter. It’s OK for the coverage to be spotty.

Baklava-with-Orange-Cardamom-Step2

Drizzle some of the cooled syrup over the top two layers of nuts to prevent the layers from separating.

Baklava-with-Orange-Cardamom-Step3

To avoid shattering the phyllo once baked, cut the baklava into portions before baking it.

Nutritional Facts

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