Pistachio Turkish Baklava



4 cups of water
3 cups of sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon

36 leaves fresh or frozen packaged phyllo dough (14 x 18-inch size)
1/2 pound (300 grams) unsalted clarified butter
1/2 pound (300 grams) raw, hulled pistachio nuts, ground to a powder
2 tablespoons sugar

14 x 18-inch shallow metal baking pan
Pastry brush
Pastry cutter or sharp knife


Begin by making the syrup. You'll pour over the hot baklava later on. Combine the water, sugar, and lemon juice in a small saucepan, bring the mixture to a boil and let it simmer slowly uncovered while you prepare the rest of the baklava. Prepare the clarified butter. Mix the ground pistachio nuts with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Brush the bottom of your baking pan with butter and sprinkle a few pinches of the ground pistachio nuts over the butter. Take your first layer of phyllo and set it in place. Working quickly, brush the entire piece of phyllo with the butter. Repeat in the same manner with 18 leaves of phyllo. Once you've buttered the 18th layer, use all of the ground pistachio mixtures to make an even layer going all the way to the edges of the pan.

Place another layer of phyllo over the nuts and butter it. Repeat until you finish the last layer. If you have extra butter left, set it aside. Using a sharp knife or a pastry cutter, gently cut the baklava into even squares or diamond shapes. If you're using a round pan, you can cut it into large, narrow slivers. Drizzle the leftover butter over the top. Place the pan in a preheated 395° F/200° C oven and set the timer for 45 minutes. Once the baklava is in the oven, remove the syrup from the heat and leave it to cool down.

Bake the baklava for about 45 minutes, or until the layers puff up high and the top layers are golden, crispy and translucent. When ready, remove the tray from the oven. While it's still piping hot, immediately pour the cold syrup evenly over the baklava. Let it bubble up then settle. Generously sprinkle more ground pistachios over the top.

Leave your baklava to cool down to room temperature before serving.