Christmas Baklava

A festive twist on this Middle-Eastern treat

  • 300g mixed shelled nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans , brazils, hazelnuts etc.)
  • 2 tbsp Waitrose Signature Spice, or similar festive spice mix
  • 200g butter, melted
  • 2 x 270g packs filo pastry sheets
  • For the syrup:

  • 300g sugar
  • 100ml Greek honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 strips of clementine zest
  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Fan 180ºC/Gas 4. Place all the syrup ingredients in a medium saucepan with 300ml cold water and bring to a gentle simmer. Let it bubble away, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by a third. Leave to cool. (The syrup must be cool when it is poured over the pastry otherwise the pastry will go soggy.)
  • Blitz the nuts in a food processor until coarse then tip into a bowl and stir through the signature spice.
  • Lightly grease a 34 x 24cm tin with the melted butter. Gently unfold the filo and cover with a damp tea towel to stop it cracking.
  • Layer sheets of filo in the tin and brush each layer with melted butter. After 4 layers, scatter over half the nut mixture, repeat with 4 layers of filo, then the rest of the nuts. Top with the last 4 layers of filo then generously butter the top. Cut into 24 square shapes with a sharp knife – ensure the blade goes right to the bottom.
  • Bake on the middle shelf of the oven on a hot baking sheet for 30–35 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp, reducing the temperature to 170ºC/Fan 150ºC/Gas 3, if the baklava looks as though it is browning too quickly.
  • Remove the baklava from the oven and spoon half the cooled syrup over the top. Leave for 5 minutes then spoon over the remaining syrup. Allow the baklava to cool slightly before removing with a palette knife.
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