- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon orange flower water
- 3 cups whole, pitted dates
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 12 (18- by 14-inch) sheets fresh phyllo pastry or frozen, thawed
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
Stir 1/3 cup sugar, water and lemon juice together in a small saucepan set over low heat. Once sugar is dissolved, increase temperature to medium-high and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Mix in honey and orange flower water.
Combine dates, 1 tablespoon sugar, zest and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse until dates are minced. Add orange juice; process until a coarse paste forms.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Mix 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon. Stack phyllo on work surface. Using the bottom of an 8-inch square pan as guide, cut out 2 (8-inch) square stacks, making 24 squares. Butter inside of the same pan.
Place 2 phyllo squares in the pan. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon sugar. Repeat 4 more times, for a total of 10 phyllo squares. Gently spread with half of date filling.
Top with 2 phyllo squares, brush with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Repeat once, and spread with remaining filling.
Layer 10 squares (2 at a time) on top of the filling, brushing with butter and sprinkling with sugar, until all 24 sheets of phyllo have been used.
Using a knife, score the top into 16 squares (do not cut through to filling). Bake until deep golden, about 30 minutes. While still warm, cut through scored lines to the bottom of the pan. Spoon cool syrup over hot baklava. Serve at room temperature.
Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.
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