|1 1/2 C. butter cut into 1/4 inch bits
1/2 C. vegetable oil
40 sheets filo pastry, each about 12x16 inches thoroughly defrosted if frozen
4 C. shelled walnuts pulverized in a blender or with a nut grinder
|Clarify the butter in a heavy saucepan or skillet in the following
fashion: Melt the butter slowly over low heat without letting it brown,
skimming off the foam as it rises to the surface. Remove the pan from
the heat let it rest for 2 or 3 minutes, then spoon off the clear butter
and discard the milky solids at the bottom of the pan.
Preheat the oven to 350� and stir the vegetable oil into the clarified butter. Using a pastry brush coat the bottom and sides of the 13x9-inch baking dish with about 1 tablespoon of the butter mixture. Fold a sheet of phyllo in half crosswise, lift it up gently and unfold it into the prepared dish. Press the pastry flat, fold down the excess around the sides and flatten it against the bottom.
Brush the entire surface of the pastry lightly with butter and oil mixture, and lay another sheet of phyllo on top, oil mixture, and lay another sheet of phyllo on top, folding it down and buttering it in similar fashion. Sprinkle the pastry evenly with about 3 tablespoons of walnuts.
Repeat the same procedure using 2 sheets of buttered phyllo and 3 tablespoons of the walnuts each time to make 19 layers in all. Spread the remaining sheets of phyllo on top and brush the baklava with all the remaining butter and oil mixture.
With a small, sharp knife score the top of the pastry with parallel diagonal lines about 1/2 inch deep and 2 inches apart, then cross them diagonally to form diamond shapes. Bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes or until the top is crisp and golden brown.
(Make while baklava is baking)
1/2 C. honey
1/2 lemon, cut in quarters
1/2 C. water
1 C. sugar
Boil together the honey, sugar, water and lemon until it thickens a bit, about 20 minutes. Remove the lemon and pour syrup over the baklava as soon as it is removed from the oven. Let stand and when it is cool, it is ready to serve. Cut the cooled baklava into diamond shaped serving pieces. Makes 1 13x9-inch pastry. (Laura Worthen)