Chyrel's Recipes From Friends

Hazelnut Fig Baklava Recipe

Hazelnut Fig Baklava
Source: McCall's Magazine

Honey Syrup:
1 1/2 cups honey
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup fresh orange juice
9 Calamyrna figs -(9 ounces) cut into 1/4 inch pieces (1 -1/2 cups)
3 cups coarsely ground toasted skinned hazelnuts
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 cup unsalted butter - (2 sticks) melted
1 package phyllo dough - (1 pound)- thawed if frozen

Honey Syrup: in medium saucepan, bring to a boil honey, water and zest. Reduce heat to low, simmer 20 minutes or until mixture is reduced to 2 cups. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice. Let cool.

Filling: Meanwhile in large bowl, combine orange juice and figs. Let stand 30 minutes, stirring once or twice, until figs have absorbed juice. Add remaining filling ingredients.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan with some melted butter. Unroll phyllo, cut in half crosswise. Keep covered with waxed paper and damp towel while working with sheets. Place 1 sheet phyllo in bottom of buttered pan and brush with butter. Repeat with 9 more sheets phyllo, brushing each layer with butter and stacking in pan. Scatter with 1/2 cup nut mixture over top of phyllo.

Top with 2 sheets phyllo, buttering each. Repeat layers of 1/2 cup nut mixture and 2 sheets buttered phyllo until nut mixture is used up (about 9 more layers.)

Finish top of baklava with 5 sheets buttered phyllo. With knife, cut phyllo layers crosswise into 6 (2 inch wide) strips. Cut each strip on diagonal to form 4 equal "diamonds" (you'll have a small triangle at ends of each strip.)

Bake 1 hour or until light golden and crisp. Remove baking pan to wire rack; from saucepan spoon over cooled honey syrup over top. Let cool at least 1 hour.

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