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Orange Blossom Baklava

Fragrant with cinnamon, cardamom and cloves, this sticky baklava is sweet with honey and orange blossom water. Serve pieces with fresh mint tea for an indulgent afternoon nibble.

Ingredients

For the filling :

200 g walnuts
200 g pecan nuts
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Zest of one small orange
3 tbsp any sugar (we used light soft brown sugar)

For the orange-honey syrup:

100 g light soft brown sugar
250 ml Quince Honey Farm Devon Flower Clear Honey
230 ml water
2 whole cloves
2 cardamom pods, crushed
2 tbsp orange blossom water
1 tbsp lemon juice

To assemble:

400 g filo pastry
200 g butter, melted
50 g pistachios, roughly chopped
Zest of one small orange

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 140ºC/120ºC fan/gas 1 and grease a rectangular or square baking tin with melted butter (we used a 30cm x 20cm baking tin).
2. In a food processor bowl, place half of the walnuts and pecans together with cinnamon, orange zest and sugar and blend until the pieces of nuts are small and even. Add the remaining nuts and blend again a couple of times until they are roughly chopped. You will end up with a textured mixture of small and bigger pieces of nuts.
3. Cut the filo sheets in half. The size should fully cover the bottom of the baking tin.
4. Place one filo sheet in the baking tin and brush generously with melted butter. Repeat with 7 more layers of the pastry- each sheet should be brushed with melted butter.
5. Press the pastry sheets down firmly and top with half of the nut mixture.
6. Cover with 3 more sheets of butter brushed filo pastry.
7. Top with remaining nut mixture.
8. To create the top layer of baklava: layer 10 filo sheets on top of the second layer of nut mixture, brushing each with butter (including the last layer).
9. Use a very sharp knife to cut the pastry into small squares or diamonds, and bake for 70 minutes, then increase the heat to 180ºC/160ºC fan/gas 4 and bake for a further 10 minutes until golden brown.
10. In the meantime, place the sugar, honey, water, cloves, cardamom pods, and the orange blossom water in a medium size saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, then remove the cloves and cardamom pods.
11. Remove the syrup from the heat and add the lemon juice.
12. In a separate bowl, mix the chopped pistachios and the orange zest
13. Remove the baklava from the oven and pour the previously prepared honey syrup over the baklava.
14. Top the baklava with the pistachio mixture, and allow it to cool completely before serving. It tastes the best the next day.