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Almond Baklava

filo dough
1 1/4 cups butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
4 cups almonds
4 cups sugar
3 cups water
1/2 cup honey
1 stick cinnamon
6 whole cloves -- Do not use ground


Mix together first amount of sugar, cinnamon, and almonds.
Lay the fillo dough out on a table. Fillo dough will dry quickly, so you'll need to work fast.
On a medium-sized, buttered pan (you'll need to melt the butter) lay one of the sheets of filo dough. Butter it, and lay another on top of that.
Continue until you have 5-6 sheets of dough on the bottom of the pan.
Then lay another sheet, and do NOT butter it. On that, put some of the almond mix, enough to cover it evenly, but not making a thick layer.
Lay another sheet of dough, butter it, and then another, unbuttered. On that place some almond mix again. Repeat until all the mix is gone.
Fold in the dough that hangs from the side of the pan. Some of the edges will be dry, so just cut them and discard them.
Continue layering the remainder of the filo dough (about 5 sheets), making sure to butter each one and fold in the edges before adding the next one. (butter the folded in edges too !
When you're done with laying the sheets of dough down, butter the top sheet very well, and sprinkle some water on it before you put it in the oven.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden.
Remove from oven, slice into desired shape, and pour over syrup.

Syrup Instructions:
To make the syrup, combine all ingredient in a pan, heat over medium heat until tick and syrupy, remove cloves before spooning over pastry.

Mom's Baklava

3 cups Almonds -- ground
1 1/2 cups Honey
4 cups Walnuts or pecans
2 teaspoons Lemon peel -- grated
2 teaspoons Cinnamon -- ground
3/4 cup Sugar
1 1/2 cups Butter -- melted
3/4 cup Water
1 pound Filo -- thawed
1 Cinnamon stick

Spread nuts in a shallow baking pan and toast at 300 degrees F. for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool.
Combine 3/4 C sugar, water and cinnamon stick in a saucepan. Boil until clear.
Add honey and heat until well-blended. Cool and remove cinnamon stick.
Combine 1/2 C sugar, lemon peel, and ground cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.
Mash together with back of a spoon to blend citrus oil with sugar. Add cooled toasted nuts and mix well.
Butter a 9x13 inch pan. Line it with 3 sheets of filo, each of which has been brushed with melted butter.
Let filo overlap sides of pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of nut mixture.
Repeat, alternating 2 sheets of buttered filo and nut mixture, ending with filo.
After you put in the final sheet of filo, fold the filo that has been hanging off the pan back onto the top sheet of filo so you have a neat, sealed package.
Using a razor blade or very sharp knife, cut through the top layer of filo, making lengthwise strips 1 1/2 inches wide. Cut diagonally, making diamonds.
Bake at 325 degrees F. for 1 hour or until golden brown.
Remove from oven, place pan on rack, and quickly cut pieces through completely. Immediately pour cooled honey syrup over the baklava.
Stop when you run out of syrup or when the baklava stops sizzling when the syrup hits it. This will help keep it crispy and keep it from becoming soggy. Cool and serve.

After the second set of sheets overlap the edges of the pan, start folding the sheets in half after they are buttered. They will fit almost perfectly in the pan.

Walnut Baklava

5 tsp Cinnamon
3 cups Coarsley chopped walnuts
1 lb Sweet butter -- melted
1 lb Phyllo pastry sheets
40 Whole cloves
1 2" strip of orange peel
1 2" strip of lemon peel
1 Cinnamon stick
1/3 cup Honey
1/2 Lemon -- juiced

In a medium bowl place the cinnamon and walnuts, and mix them together.
Brush the bottom of a 14" x 20" baking dish with the butter. Place one pastry sheet in the dish and brush it with the butter.
Repeat this process so that 6 pastry sheets line the bottom of the dish.
Sprinkle 1/3 of the nut mixture over the top of the pastry sheets. Repeat this process so that there are 3 layers of the nut mixture and four layers of buttered pastry sheets, ending with 6 pastry sheets.
Cut the baklava into 40 diamond shaped pieces. Insert a whole clove in the top of each piece.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake the baklava for 40 minutes, or until it is golden brown.
In a medium saucepan place the sugar, water, orange peel, lemon peel, and cinnamon stick.
Bring the ingredients to a boil and then simmer them for 5 minutes. Add the honey and bring the mixture to a boil.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the lemon juice. Stir the ingredients together and then let the syrup cool. Remove the orange and lemon peels, and the cinnamon stick.
Spread the cool syrup over the hot baklava. Cover the dish with a towel and let it sit for 1 hour before serving.

Rubarb Raisin Crumble

1 1/2 lb rhubarb; cut into 1 pieces
1/4 cup strawberry preserves
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 tablespoon orange zest; minced fine
1 cup granola
1 maple syrup; to taste

Combine ingredients in a heatproof pan 13x8x2 inches. The combined ingredients will seem dry; don't be concerned; the rhubarb will give up considerable liquid as it cooks. Place pan in a cold oven, set temperature to 375 F, and bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Stir and continue baking until rhubarb is tender but still firm, about 10 to 15 minutes more. Add maple syrup to taste if more sweetness is desired.
Source: Lorna Sass, Cooking From An Ecological Kitchen

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