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Recipes: Blood Orange Baklava

I found myself with an over abundance of mixed nuts and blood oranges so I created this recipe for Blood Orange Baklava! Baklava is dessert of mixed nuts layered with think crisp dough and soaked in a spiced citrusy syrup. My Grandma used to make Baklava and no matter how much I disliked mixed nuts I would devour tons of it!

I love making this recipe to share with friends as it makes 40 pieces. This is one of my more time intensive recipes at 3 hours but it is worth the effort!

Enjoy the recipe below and a link to download and print the recipe via Google Docs.

Link to Download Recipe via Goggle Docs
Patiently layering butter and phyllo, cut the sheets to fit if
preferred I like to leave extra phyllo on the sides 

Recipe: Blood Orange Baklava
Total Time 3 hours                           
Prep Time 2 hours                     
# Servings  40 Serving
Cost ~$40

Cut the baklava into triangles before baking 
5 rolls of phyllo dough (40 oz)
6 sticks of butter
1/2 tspn. salt
Nut Mixture -
10 cups mixed nuts (2.5 lbs.)
2 sticks butter melted
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground all spice
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
Syrup -
2 cups water
2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 cup of honey
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 1/2  tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground all spice
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
3 lemons
5 blood oranges
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

A 4 quart pot to cook your syrup in. Knife and cutting board to cut citrus and nuts. The nuts can also be chopped with a food processor.  Strainer to manage chopped nut sizes. A brush for applying butter to phyllo sheets. Stiff spoon and bowl to mix nuts. Tall container to separate fat from syrup, a broth separator will work too. Also grab a pot to melt butter. Bake your baklava in a X by 14 pan or similar with a lining of parchment.

1. Thaw the phyllo dough as the package describes.
2. Let’s start the syrup. In your 4 quart pot add all syrup ingredients except the citrus. 
3. For the citrus, peel the zest layer of all of the blood oranges and lemons, add the zest peels to the pot. Then juice the lemons and blood oranges and add the juice to the pot.  Do not add the left over citrus rinds to the pot this will make the syrup bitter.  
4. Let this pot simmer while covered while we make the nut mix. 
5. In the small pot melt the 2 stick of butter for the nut mixture. Add the light brown sugar and spices too. When the butter melts take this off the heat and set aside while the nuts are prepped. 
6. Chop up nuts to the desired texture. I like a mix of 75% finely ground, almost to a paste, and 25% medium ground up. Use a strainer to    manage your sizes. I chopped the nuts until 75% could go through the strainer. 
7. In a large bowl mix the nuts with the melted butter, spices and light brown sugar mixture. 
8. Turn the heat off on the syrup.  
9. Now in preparation to build our baklava melt 6 sticks of butter to use in layering. 
10. Pre heat the oven to 325F 
11. Brush the bottom of the pan with butter then line with parchment. Add another brushed layer of butter. 
12. With dry hands unroll your phyllo in preparation for layering it with   butter brushed between each of the layers. Brush the phyllo with butter until not floury spots are seen. Layer in the following order: 
10 sheets of phyllo - butter in between each sheet
1/3 nut mixture 
10 sheets of phyllo - butter in between each sheet
1/3 nut mixture 
10 sheets of phyllo - butter in between each sheet
1/3 nut mixture 
Sprinkle salt evenly 
10 sheets of phyllo - butter in between each sheet 
13. Cut the unbaked baklava in to 4 even spaced strips with 3 cuts. Then cut diagonally to create triangles. See photo for reference. 
14. Bake baklava at 325F for 1 hour and 20 minutes until tops are golden and flaky. 
15. Bring syrup to a boil 10 minutes before baklava comes out of oven.   Remove and discard the fat layer from the syrup. 
16. As soon as the baklava comes out of the oven pour the hot syrup into the baklava between the cuts made. It will sizzle! 
17. Let your baklava cool on the counter to room temp. Store in the fridge.