Honey-Free Save the Bees Baklava
- Makes : 40 to 50 pieces
No this one is not low fat, but the cloying sweetness of standard baklava is gone. My friend Elaine prefers the name Honey I Saved the Bees Baklava.
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 1/4 cups rice syrup
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Whole cloves
- 1 organic lemon, sliced
- 1/2 organic orange, sliced
- 1 pound roasted walnuts, cooled and finely chopped
- 1/4 cup ground cinnamon, divided
- 3/4 cup canola oil
- 1 pound of phyllo dough (defrosted, wrapped, in the refrigerator)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
Put all syrup ingredients into a large pot and cook to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the syrup and discard the spices and fruit. Sweet syrup can be refrigerated up to 2 weeks.
Mix chopped nuts and 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon in a medium bowl.
Mix canola oil with 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon in a small bowl to make cinnamon oil. You might not use all the cinnamon oil, refrigerate it for another use.
Open the package of phyllo and place it on a lightly dampened tea towel. Phyllo dries out in a flash. Keep the top covered as well. Cut the phyllo to fit the baking pan and start layering. Gently pick up 2 pieces of phyllo together and lay them in the baking dish. Brush the top sheet with cinnamon oil. Add another 2 sheets, brush the top sheet with cinnamon oil and continue layering, brushing every second sheet with cinnamon oil until 10 sheets of phyllo are in the pan. Cover the top sheet with half the nut mixture. Add 4 more sheets of phyllo, continuing to brush every other piece with cinnamon oil. Sprinkle the balance of the nut mixture on top and layer 10 more sheets of phyllo, using the same method. Make sure the top piece of phyllo is well coated with cinnamon oil.
With a sharp knife, cut baklava into squares of desired size, and then cut each square into two triangles. Make sure to cut all the way to the bottom. Bake baklava on center rack of the oven for 1 hour or until golden brown and puffy. Cool 30 minutes and pour hot syrup over the baklava.