Pistachio Baklava

Photo: John Kernick
Prep Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs

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.


  • cup honey

  • cup sugar

  • 3 -inch-long strip lemon zest

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • ½ 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)


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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