This is a twist on the popular Middle Eastern dessert. In the traditional baklava, nuts are layered between buttered paper-thin sheets of phyllo. Instead, to save time, we rolled up the sheets and cut them crosswise into ribbons, which we then tossed with nuts and butter.
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3-inch-long strip lemon zest
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan
- 1 box (1 pound) frozen phyllo, thawed overnight in refrigerator
- 1 cup (4.5 ounces) shelled salted pistachio nuts, finely ground in food processor
- Orange slices (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan, combine honey, sugar, 1/3 cup water, lemon zest, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Remove syrup from heat; set aside.
Butter bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking dish. Cut two 8-by-13-inch sheets of parchment paper; line bottom and sides of dish, overlapping sheets in a crisscross pattern, leaving an overhang.
Unroll phyllo sheets on a flat surface; lift the top half, and carefully roll into a tight tube. Using a sharp knife, cut crosswise to make 1-inch-wide ribbons. Roll remaining phyllo sheets, and store, tightly wrapped in plastic, in refrigerator up to a week.
In a large bowl, unroll and loosen phyllo ribbons. Using your hands, gently toss with butter and all but 2 tablespoons pistachios; press firmly into prepared baking dish. Bake until lightly browned, about 45 minutes.
Remove zest and cinnamon stick from syrup; discard. Reheat syrup over medium heat; pour over the hot pastry. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons pistachios; let cool completely.
Using paper overhang, lift baklava onto a cutting board. Remove paper. With a sharp knife, gently cut into 8 triangles; transfer to a serving dish. Serve with orange slices, if desired.