After becoming a beekeeper, I began to look for ways to use the abundance of honey I had collected (well the bees collected it, I pilfered it.) The first recipe I ever tried was Baklava. I made it for Christmas Eve three years ago and it has become a tradition. Here is how I make it:
- 1 tsp Cinnamon, ground
- 16 ounce package Phyllo dough, frozen
- 3 cups pecans chopped
- 2 or 3 sticks Butter
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup honey
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fridays are Honey Recipe Day here at the Honey Homestead. (Click one of the follow links to keep up with what’s on the menu).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium saucepan lightly roast the pecans in 2 tbsp of butter and the pinch of salt. then stir in 1/4 cup sugar, and the cinnamon; set aside.
- Brush a thin layer of melted butter over the bottom of a 9- x 13-inch baking dish.
- Carefully unroll the phyllo sheets. Remove one sheet of phyllo dough and place it on the bottom of the baking dish; trimming edges if needed to fit baking dish. Brush the top of the phyllo lightly with butter. Repeat with 5 more sheets of phyllo, brushing each with butter. (DON’T GET LAZY HERE – if you don’t brush butter on every sheet it won’t be flaky).
- Evenly sprinkle part of the nut mixture over the phyllo dough. Place a sheet of phyllo on top of the nuts, and lightly brush with butter. Now 5 more layers of phyllo dough (butter each one). Another layer of the nut mixture on the phyllo… lather, rinse, repeat until the whole package is used. (Note: if you run out of butter – GET MORE BUTTER!)
- Using a sharp knife, cut the unbaked baklava on the diagonal in a diamond pattern and bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
- In the medium saucepan (no need to wash it yet) over medium heat, combine remaining sugar, water, 1/2 stick of butter, vanilla extract and (of course) honey. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Carefully pour the mixture evenly over all the baklava. Let sit for about 3 hours hours or until completely cooled before serving.