Baklava is a traditional Middle Eastern dessert recipe that has been tweaked with macadamias. The macadamias soaked with honey and cinnamon are absolutely divine.
2 cups raw macadamias, finely chopped in food processor
½ cup caster sugar
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
200g unsalted butter, chopped
500g packet filo pastry (or approximately 30 sheets)
2 cups caster sugar
1 lemon, rind removed using a vegetable peeler, juiced
1 cinnamon stick
Combine macadamias, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat, set aside and keep warm. Brush a 3cm-deep 24cm x 34cm ceramic or glass baking dish with butter. Using a sharp knife tip cut each sheet of filo to the same size as the dish. Set each piece aside in a pile and cover with a slightly damp tea towel. There should be approximately 30 pieces.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Layer 8-10 sheets of the filo pastry in dish, brushing butter between each layer. Scatter the last layer evenly with one half of the macadamia mixture and then top with another 8-10 sheets of filo pastry, brushing butter between each layer. Scatter over remaining macadamia mixture and top with remaining filo, brushing between each layer with butter.
Refrigerate for about 15 minutes until butter is firm. Using a sharp knife, cut through all pastry layers to form 4cm diamonds. Bake on the middle oven rack for 45 minutes to 1 hour until golden and cooked through. Cover loosely with foil partway through cooking if top browns too quickly.
Meanwhile, for honey syrup, combine sugar, honey, lemon rind, cinnamon stick and water in a saucepan over low heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Increase heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and remove cinnamon stick and lemon rind, stir through lemon juice to taste and set aside.
Remove baklava from the oven and cool slightly for 2-3 minutes before evenly pouring over the syrup. Set aside at room temperature for 4-6 hours, preferably overnight, to cool completely and for the syrup to sink in. Baklava will keep in the tray, covered, for 3-4 days.
For more delicious macadamia recipes, and information about the industry head to australian-macadamias.org
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