1/2 lb. sheets filo dough frozen
2 cups blanched almonds ground
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon rind grated
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon ground
1 cup unsalted butter melted
almonds sliced, for garnish
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup honey
1 Tablespoon rose water


1. Thaw filo dough for 8 hours in refrigerator, if frozen. Unfold sheets of filo dough so they lie flat. Cover with waxed paper, then a damp towel, to prevent them from drying out.

2. Preheat oven to 325°F. In a medium bowl combine almonds, sugar, lemon rind, and cinnamon. Generously butter an 8- to 9-inch-square pan.

3. Carefully fold 2 sheets of filo to fit pan; place in pan one at a time, brushing each with butter. Sprinkle about 3 Tablespoons of the almond mixture over top sheet. Fold 1 sheet of filo to fit pan; brush with butter. Sprinkle evenly with another 3 Tablespoons almond mixture.

4. Continue to add layers, using 1 folded sheet of filo, a generous brushing of butter, and 3 to 4 Tablespoons almond mixture for each, until nut mixture is used up (there should be about 10 nut-filled layers).

5. Fold remaining 2 to 3 sheets of filo to fit pan. Place on top, brushing each, with butter before adding the next. With a very sharp knife, carefully cut diagonally across pan to make small diamond shapes--about 1 1/2 inches on a side--cutting all the way to bottom of pan. Pour on any remaining butter.

6. Bake until golden brown (about 45 minutes). Pour warm Honey and Rose Water Syrup over top. Decorate each piece with an almond slice. Cool before serving. Honey and Rose Water Syrup (last four ingredients): Combine sugar and the water in a 1 1/2-quart saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring. Mix in honey and cook until syrup boils again. Remove from heat; mix in rose water.

Yields: 24 servings


Formulation courtesy of National Honey Board