What you need: (you should be able to find everything at a regular grocery store)
9x13” glass baking dish
pastry brush or paint brush that has never been used for toxic materials
1 ¾ cup cold water
1 ¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1.5 cups walnuts or pistachios
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
1 package filo dough
Heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make the syrup. Combine the cold water with the sugar in a saucepan. Boil the mixture for 5 minutes, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes. The syrup is ready when it is light yellow. Turn off the heat and stir the lemon juice into the syrup. Put the syrup aside and let it cool.
Make clarified butter: In a saucepan, slowly melt the butter. After a while, the white part of the butter will float to the top. Remove the white part and throw it away. The other part is called clarified butter.
Chop the walnuts and mix them in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of sugar.
Take the glass pan now and brush the inside of the pan all over with a little of the clarified butter. Now, open the filo dough and cut it in half (the short way). The sheets will now fit in the pan. Put one sheet in the pan. Brush it with a little more butter. Continue layering the dough and brushing with butter until half of the filo has been used. Filo dries VERY quickly, so work fast!
Now, spread the walnuts into the pan. Sprinkle a little water on them, so that the next layer of filo will stick to the walnuts.
Now, layer the rest of the filo dough with the butter as you did with the first half. When you have put the last sheet of filo, brush the top layer and edges with butter.
Using a sharp knife dipped in hot water, cut through the dough halfway (to the walnuts) making triangle-shaped pastries.
Put the baklava in the center of the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, lower the heat to 325 and bake for 30 more minutes, until the top is light golden. Remove the baklava from the oven and then let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Recut the pastries along the lines all the way to the bottom of the baking pan. Now, pour the cold syrup evenly over the cut lines. Sprinkle some more nuts on top of the baklava, if you want. Now, let it cool completely before serving.