Dreamy and Perfectly Crispy Pistachio Baklava

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Baklava is a dish that varies by region. Sometimes it’s just almond, other times there are walnuts and spices. For this version we’ve include the rich and tasty Pistachio nut, paired with the flavours of honey, cinnamon and clove.

Ingredients

Syrup

    400g / 2 cups Granulated sugar
    340g / 1 cup Honey
    355ml / 1 ½ cups Water
    2 sticks Cinnamon
    6 Cloves

Filling

    215g / 2 cups Almond slivers
    215g / 2 cups Pistachios, shelled
    50g / 1/4 cup Granulated sugar
    5g / 2 tsp ground Cinnamon
    1 package Phyllo dough (24 sheets)
    225g / 1 cup Mirage Margarine, melted

Directions

For the Syrup

  1. In a deep pot, stir the sugar, water, honey, cinnamon sticks, and cloves over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes.
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  3. Stop stirring, increase the heat to medium, and simmer until the mixture is slightly syrupy, about 5 minutes. Strain out the cinnamon sticks and whole cloves, and set aside.
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For the filling

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C).
  2. Pulse the nuts in a food processor until fine, about the size of a lentil. Add in the sugar and cinnamon, then give it a quick pulse to combine everything together.
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  4. Grease a 13-by-9-inch baking pan lightly with melted Mirage margarine.
  5. Place a sheet of phyllo in the pan and lightly brush the entire sheet with margarine. Repeat this with 7 more sheets.
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  7. Spread half of the nut filling, evenly over the phyllo. Top with 8 more sheets, brushing each layer with margarine. Use any torn sheets in this middle layer. Spread with the remaining nut mixture and end with a top layer of 8 phyllo sheets, continuing to brush each layer with margarine. Trim any overhanging edges.
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  9. Using a sharp knife, cut 3 equal lengthwise strips (about 1 3/4 inches wide) through the top layer of pastry. Make 1 1/2-inch-wide diagonal cuts across the strips to form diamond shapes.
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  11. Just before baking, sprinkle the top of the pastry with cold water. This keeps the pastry from curling.
  12. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 300F (150C) and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  13. Remove from the oven, then cut through the scored lines, through to the bottom.
  14. Pour the syrup slowly over the hot baklava and let cool for at least 4 hours, but preferably, overnight.
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  16. Cover and store at room temperature for up to 1 week. If the baklava dries out while being stored, drizzle with a little additional hot syrup.

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Chefs Notes

  • If you’re not a fan of pistachios, go ahead and just use 4 cups of almonds.
  • When using phyllo, if you’re finding some sheets that are cracked, try layering them between more whole sheets.
  • Between building the layers, be sure to cover the phyllo with a dry towel to keep it from drying out too quickly.

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