Make the syrup:
Heat the water and sugar over low heat and stir until the sugar has been dissolved. Add the honey and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes or until the syrup starts to thicken. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and rose or lemon-blossom water and allow to cool. Put the syrup into the refrigerator until it is ice cold.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Grease a square 20 x 20 x 5cm cake tin. Roll out the phyllo pastry and keep it under a damp tea towel. Cut the dough into sheets of 20 x 20cm.
Brush each sheet of pastry with butter and pile a third of the sheets on top of each other in the cake tin.
Mix the nuts, cinnamon, cloves and sugar. Spread half the mixture over the phyllo pastry sheets in the cake tin. Brush each of the next third of sheets with butter and also pile them on top of each other, but don’t press flat.
Sprinkle the leftover nut mixture over this layer of phyllo sheets and end with the last third of pastry sheets. Cut the baklava into triangle or square-shaped blocks, but only cut halfway through the layers – you’ll cut through all the layers once you’ve removed the baklava from the oven. Bake for 30 minutes at 180°C. Increase the oven temperature to 220°C and bake until the baklava turns a deep gold colour.
Remove the tin from the oven and cut right through the baklava. Keep it in the dish and pour the cold syrup over immediately so that it can be fully absorbed. Allow it to cool before placing it in the fridge for at least 3 hours before serving.
Text and Images: Home magazine
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