This holiday-inspired baklava is made with crispy delicate layers of phyllo pastry and finely chopped nuts and cranberries. It’s flavoured with cinnamon spice and orange zest, and soaked in a sweet honey-lemon syrup.

This is a sponsored post. I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Williams Sonoma Canada to bring you this recipe. Though monetary compensation was received, all opinions are my own. A plate of baklava made with pistachios and cranberries being drizzled with honey syrup. As we get ready for this holiday season, many of us are looking for ways to make it extra special. Williams Sonoma has thousands of amazing products and gift ideas to help you make any occasion memorable. They have everything from festive tableware to gourmet food products to the best cookware and bakeware. They have 5 locations in Canada. You can shop online and place your order for delivery or same-day store pick up. They even offer gift wrapping to make gift-giving easy.

This gorgeous Honeycomb Oval Platter is perfect to make anything you serve look elegant. It’s shiny black with an architectural honeycomb design and an 18-karat gold rim. This platter presents food beautifully and layers well with white-glazed porcelain dinnerware and serveware. See the whole Honeycomb collection here. A black and gold platter of baklava topped with crushed pistachios.

Why this recipe is so great:

This cranberry orange baklava is the perfect make-ahead treat for the Christmas season. It’s surprisingly easy to make. It just takes a little time to put together. It has signature holiday flavors like cranberry-orange and cinnamon. It keeps and stores well and makes a lot, so it’s great for sharing and gifting. It’s a special and indulgent dessert that anyone would love and appreciate.

Baklava is traditionally very sweet, but the addition of fresh lemon juice to the syrup not only brightens up the flavour, it also balances the sweetness. The cranberries add flavor and a nice texture contrast to the nuts in the filling. Using pistachios in the nut mixtures elevates the taste and adds a lovely touch of green. The orange zest gives a beautiful aroma and livens up the whole dessert.

How to make baklava:

Process shots of how to make cranberry orange baklava.

  1. In a small saucepan, heat up some sugar, honey, water, and lemon juice. Let simmer for 5 minutes and remove from the heat to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the chopped pistachios, walnuts, cranberries, orange zest, and ground cinnamon.
  3. Butter a 9×13 pan. Lay 8-10 sheets of phyllo pastry, brushing each one with butter.
  4. Sprinkle 1/5 of the nut mixture on top. Lay another 4-5 sheets of phyllo, brushing each one with butter. Repeat 3 more times.
  5. Finish with the remaining nut mixture and phyllo sheets. Cut 4 lines horizontally and 8-10 lines diagonal to make diamond shapes. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes until golden brown on top.
  6. Drizzle the honey-lemon syrup on top of the hot baklava. Let stand for 4-6 hours at room temperature uncovered before serving.

Baklava before and after baking.

Expert tips:

  • Chopping the nuts – You can finely chop the nuts by hand or use a food processor and just pulse it a few times.
  • Working with phyllo pastry – It’s best to thaw it overnight in the fridge and take it out 1 hour before you start assembling to bring it to room temperature. If you need to trim or cut your phyllo pastry to fit your pan, use sharp scissors to cut it. Also, cover the phyllo with a slightly damp towel while you are working with it to prevent it from drying out.
  • Layering – Each brand of phyllo comes in different sizes and a different number of sheets, so you’ll have to size it to fit your pan and calculate your layers. Most will work out to be about 30-40 sheets. And basically, you want 6 layers of phyllo sheets with the top and bottom layer a bit thicker. For example, mine worked out to be 32 sheets when cut in half, so the number of sheets in each of my 6 layers was 8, 4, 4, 4, 4, 8. I’ve seen other recipes use 40 sheets and the breakdown was 10, 5, 5, 5, 5, 10.
  • Cutting – Use a sharp knife and gently saw to cut through once, then run the knife smoothly through the same cut.
  • Adding the syrup – Spoon the syrup over the baklava as soon as you take it out of the oven. You will hear it sizzle. The cooled syrup against the hot pastry will help it absorb while remaining crispy.
  • Storing – Loosely cover and store at room temperature for up to a week. Do not cover too tightly or it will get soggy. It can keep up to two weeks in the fridge but the moisture in the fridge will make it a bit chewy.

A slice of cranberry pistachio baklava on a silver plate. Enjoy this delicious and festive version of baklava this holiday season and make sure to check out Williams Sonoma’s Holiday Gift Guide for some fantastic gift ideas for you, your friends, and family.

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Cranberry Orange Baklava


  • Author: Lily Ernst
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 45 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: about 28-30 pieces

Description

This holiday-inspired baklava is made with crispy delicate layers of phyllo pastry and finely chopped nuts and cranberries. It’s flavoured with cinnamon spice and orange zest, and soaked in a sweet honey-lemon syrup.


Ingredients

Baklava

  • 1 pkg (16oz/454g) phyllo pastry, thawed and trimmed to fit a 9×13″ pan
  • 2 cups (8oz) finely chopped pistachios plus more for garnish
  • 2 cups (8oz) finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup (4oz) finely chopped dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • zest of 1 large orange
  • 1 cup (114g) unsalted butter, melted

Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup water
  • juice of 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar, honey, water, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over med-high heat, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 5 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat to cool while preparing the baklava.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the chopped pistachios, walnuts, cranberries, orange zest, and ground cinnamon.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9×13 pan with the melted butter.
  4. Lay 8-10 sheets of phyllo pastry, brushing each one with butter.
  5. Sprinkle 1/5 (about 1 cup) of the nut mixture on top. Lay another 4-5 sheets of phyllo, brushing each one with butter. Repeat 3 more times.
  6. Finish with the remaining nut mixture and phyllo sheets. Cut 4 lines horizontally and 8-10 lines diagonal to make diamond shapes.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown on top. Remove from oven and immediately spoon the syrup evenly on top of the hot baklava. Reserve some of the syrup for drizzling before serving if desired.
  8. Let stand for 4-6 hours or preferably overnight at room temperature uncovered before serving.

Notes

  • Chopping the nuts – You can finely chop the nuts by hand or use a food processor and just pulse it a few times.
  • Working with phyllo pastry – It’s best to thaw it overnight in the fridge and take it out 1 hour before you start assembling to bring it to room temperature. If you need to trim or cut your phyllo pastry to fit your pan, use sharp scissors to cut it. Also, cover the phyllo with a slightly damp towel while you are working with it to prevent it from drying out.
  • Layering – Each brand of phyllo comes in different sizes and a different number of sheets, so you’ll have to size it to fit your pan and calculate your layers. Most will work out to be about 30-40 sheets. And basically, you want 6 layers of phyllo sheets with the top and bottom layer a bit thicker. For example, mine worked out to be 32 sheets when cut in half, so the number of sheets in each of my 6 layers was 8, 4, 4, 4, 4, 8. I’ve seen other recipes use 40 sheets and the breakdown was 10, 5, 5, 5, 5, 10.
  • Cutting – Use a sharp knife and gently saw to cut through once, then run the knife smoothly through the same cut.
  • Adding the syrup – Spoon the syrup over the baklava as soon as you take it out of the oven. You will hear it sizzle. The cooled syrup against the hot pastry will help it absorb while remaining crispy.
  • Storing – Loosely cover and store at room temperature for up to a week. Do not cover too tightly or it will get soggy. It can keep up to two weeks in the fridge but the moisture in the fridge will make it a bit chewy.
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: Middle-Eastern

Keywords: baklava recipe, cranberry orange baklava, baklava with pistachios

Recipe adapted from Ricardo Cuisine.

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