Makes 117 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup pistachios, toasted and chopped
1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
1/4 cup dried cherries, cut into rough dice
1/4 cup dried pears, cut into rough dice
1/4 cup dried apricots, cut into rough diced
12 sheets phyllo dough
1 cup clarified unsalted butter (see Chef’s Note)
2 cups agave nectar
1/4 cup rose water
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
2. In a bowl, mix together the pistachios, hazelnuts, cherries, pears, and apricots.
3. Lay a sheet of phyllo on your countertop and brush it with clarified butter. Place another layer of phyllo on top and brush it with clarified butter. Place the phyllo in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking pan. Sprinkle with a light layer of the nut and fruit mixture and then drizzle with about ¼ cup of the agave nectar.
4. Repeat step 3 until all the ingredients are used and the phyllo is the finishing layer. Press down on the baklava, using a sheet of plastic wrap so that it won’t stick to your hands, then refrigerate for 30 minutes.
5. Using a sharp knife, lightly score the phyllo into square- or diamond-shaped pieces about 1 inch wide so that when it is baked it will be easier to cut. Combine the remaining agave nectar and the rose water and drizzle the baklava with ½ cup of the mixture. Bake in the oven until golden and crisp, about 20 to 30 minutes. Cool, cut, and serve.
Chef’s Note: Although it is extra work to make clarified butter, it is important to use it in this recipe so that the dough doesn’t get soggy from the milk solids. Melt 1¼ cups unsalted butter over medium heat and allow the butter to come to a gentle simmer. Soon the milk solids will start to float to the top of the butter. Skim off as much of the milk solids as possible so that you are just left with the butterfat. Allow the butter to cool to room temperature before using.
Formulation courtesy of The Culinary Institute of America