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Layered Baklava with Orange Blossom Syrup
- 1 2/3 cup shelled unsalted pistachios
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 2 1/4 cups sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup ground walnuts or 1 cup walnut pieces
- Spray oil, for greasing pan and filo layers
- 1 package frozen filo dough, thawed in the refrigerator according to package directions
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons orange blossom water
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Place pistachios, almonds, 1/4 of the sugar and ground walnuts or walnut pieces into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until the mixture is ground into tiny pieces, but not completely pulverized. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch pan with spray oil. If your sheets of filo are larger than your pan, cut the pile in half. Take 1 sheet of filo, place it in the pan and then spray with some oil. Lay another 4 sheets in the pan, spraying each sheet before placing another on top. Scoop up 3/4 cup of the nut mixture and sprinkle it on top of the fifth sheet of filo. Spread as evenly as you can. Lay another sheet of filo on top of nuts and spray all over with oil. One at a time, layer another 4 sheets of filo, spraying each one. Once again, measure 3/4 cup nuts, sprinkle over filo and spread. Continue this procedure until you have 5 filo layers and 4 nut layers, finishing with the filo on top. Spray the top sheet of filo with oil.
- Take a sharp knife and make diagonal slices through the filo layers across the pan, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Make diagonal cuts in the opposite direction to create diamonds. Place on the middle rack in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.
- While the baklava is baking, make orange blossom syrup: Bring remaining 2 cups of sugar, lemon juice and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat to medium and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 7 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the orange blossom water and stir. Set aside.
- When the baklava is done baking, remove from oven and immediately pour syrup all over the top of the baklava. Let cool in the pan. Store covered in plastic at room temperature for up to five days.