Walnut and Pistachio Baklava
2 cups walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 1/2 cups pistachios, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground
1/2 teaspoon all spice
1/2 pound phyllo sheets (about 22), defrosted
1 cups butter, melted
1 Tablespoon vanilla
Syrup, recipe below
Mix together sugar and spices. Set aside.
Stir butter and vanilla together, and coat a 9x13 baking dish.
Place one sheet of phyllo dough, then brush on melted butter. Repeat seven more times.
Sprinkle half of the nuts and half of the sugar mixture onto the buttered phyllo dough.
Layer four more sheets of phyllo, brushing each liberally with butter.
Spread another thin layer of nuts and sugar.
Cover with ten more sheets of phyllo, brushing each one with butter.
Slice the baklava into four long strips, but do not cut all the way through to the bottom. You should barely pierce the bottom layer.
In the same manner, slice diagonal lines into the baklava.
Bake at 375* for 25 minutes, or until golden and flaky.
Let cool for five minutes, then pour cooled syrup over the top.
Let sit at room temperature for at least four hours. For the best results, let sit overnight.
Store in an air tight container.
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup honey
1 star anise
2 whole cloves
Peel from a quarter of an orange
Pinch of salt
In a pot over medium heat, dissolve sugar in water. Stir in honey.
Flavor with star anise, cloves and orange peel.
Boil for five minutes, then reduce to a simmer. Continue cooking for five to ten minutes, or until it reaches a syrup-like consistency.
Remove from heat and cool before pouring over baklava.