First make the syrup: place the sugar and
water in a saucepan, bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes
until syrupy. Stir in the rose-water and leave to cool. Mix together the
nuts, icing sugar and cardamom. Preheat the oven to 160C / 325F / Gas 3
and brush a large rectangular baking tin with a little melted butter.
Taking one sheet of filo pastry at a time, and keeping the remainder
covered with a damp cloth, brush with melted butter and lay on the
bottom of the tin. Continue until you have six buttered layers in the
tin. Spread half of the nut mixture over, pressing down with a spoon.
Take another six sheets of filo pastry,
brush with butter and lay over the nut mixture. Sprinkle over the
remaining nuts and top with a final layer of six filo sheets brushed
again with butter. Cut the pastry diagonally into small lozenge shapes
using a sharp knife. Pour the remaining melted butter over the top. Bake
for 20 minutes then increase the heat to 200C / 400F / Gas 6 and bake
for 15 minutes until light golden in color and puffed. Remove from the
oven and drizzle about three quarters of the syrup over the pastry,
reserving the remainder for serving. Arrange the baklava lozenges on a
large glass dish and serve with extra syrup.
This is queen of all pastries with its
exotic flavors and is usually served for the Persian New Year on 21st
March, celebrating the first day of spring.