300g shelled walnuts, toasted and cut into pieces.
3 tablespoons honey
12 cardamom pods, husks removed and contents chopped
Zest of 1 orange
200g butter, melted
2 packs 270g filo pastry
Juice of half an orange.
Mix the 3 tablespoons of honey, walnuts, cardamom and orange zest (I left overnight to infuse together).
Heat oven gas 4
Brush the bottom of a baking tray with butter.
Place a sheet of filo pastry on the bottom of the tin and brush with butter, repeat with the rest of the pack to give a firm base.
Spread the nut and honey mix on the pastry.
Place the first sheet of pastry from the second pack on top of the nuts, brush with butter and repeat to use the rest of the pack.
Cut through all the layers to make squares of baclava – about one-inch square.
Pour over any remaining butter.
Place in oven for 20 minutes and then reduce temperature to Gas 2 for a further 30 minutes – the top should be browned. Run a knife through the cuts made earlier.
Pour the honey and orange juice syrup over the baclava and allow to cool.
There are many different flavour variations: cinnamon, pistachio nuts and more so that you can choose whatever you like best. We had a huge bag of French walnuts, still in their shells which meant they had kept very well for nearly two years. Otherwise, I keep all my shelled nuts in the freezer as walnuts and Brazil nuts particularly can taste rather rancid if not used quickly.
It is definitely worth finding a metal tray that fits the sheets of filo pastry closely – if not, alternate the positions or cut the sheets to fit the tin. Don’t be tempted to make in a foil tray unless you can be sure not to cut through the bottom and lose the syrup.