This recipe makes the style of baklavas that are round and ruffled, making for a lovely individual dessert.
Makes 15 individual baklavas.
For the nuts, pulse the walnuts and pistachios with the sugar, cinnamon and cloves in a food processor until evenly chopped (but not finely ground). Set aside.
To assemble, preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and brush a 9-x-13-inch (23-x-33 cm) baking pan with some of the melted butter. Cut all the phyllo pastry sheets in half and stack one half on top of the other – cover the stack with a piece of plastic wrap topped by a damp tea towel (this will prevent it from drying out). Lay out a sheet of phyllo pastry and brush it lightly with butter. Top this with a second sheet of phyllo and brush it lightly with butter. Using a long-handled wooden spoon or piece of doweling, place the spoon handle along the short end of the pastry and roll up the pastry over the spoon (but not too tightly). Scrunch the phyllo down the spoon to pull it off and also “ruffle” the pastry at the same time. Shape this into a small circle and place it in the buttered baking pan and repeat with the remaining pastry (15 baklavas fit into the pan nicely – you may have a few extra phyllo sheets left, but these may also go to “practice”.) Brush the tops of the baklavas with any remaining butter.
Place a generous spoonful of the nut filling into the centre of each baklava circle and press in as much as you can. Bake the baklavas for about 30 minutes, until a rich golden brown. While the baklava is baking, prepare the syrup.
For the syrup, bring the sugar, honey, water, lemon (squeeze the lemon juice into the pan and drop the lemon halves in), cinnamon and cloves up to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Simmer this for 5 minutes, stirring to make sure the sugar has dissolved and then set aside, but reheating before using (removing the lemon halves).
Hot from the oven, spoon the syrup over the baklavas, using a brush to fill in any gaps. Let the baklavas cool to room temperature on a rack before enjoying.
The baklavas can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days.