Citrus Baklava

Submitted by: Academy Canada Culinary Class - Downhome Magazine
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Difficulty: Advanced
Prep Time: More than 15 Minutes
Total Time: More than 1 hour

1 lb chopped mixed nuts (equal parts pistachios/pecans/cashews is nice)
1 1/4 cup white sugar
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup butter/margarine/coconut oil, melted
1 package phyllo dough
Syrup
1 cup water
3/4 cup honey
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp grated lemon zest
2 tsp grated orange zest
For the syrup Mix all syrup ingredients together and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve. For the baklava: Preheat oven to 350F and spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a small bowl, toss together cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and nuts. Unroll phyllo and cut whole stack in half crossways to fit in the pan. (Cover phyllo with a clean, damp cloth while working to keep it from drying out.)
Assembly 1) Place one sheet of phyllo on the counter. Butter it with a pastry brush. 2) Place another sheet of phyllo on top of the first, sticking the two together. Butter the top. 3) Put the pastry in the pan. 4) Sprinkle
2-3 tbsp of the nut mixture over the sheets. Repeat steps until all ingredients are used, ending with a pastry layer containing all remaining phyllo sheets.
Using a sharp knife, cut baklava (all the way through to the bottom of the pan) into 3 long rows. Then cut crossways into 8 rows. Bake in preheated oven 40-50 minutes, until golden and crisp. Remove from oven and immediately pour the syrup over the top, being sure to get in all the spaces and cracks. Allow to sit at room temperature overnight before serving.
Yield: 24 servings

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