Date and Orange Blossom Baklava



  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons orange-blossom water


  • 3 cups pitted dates (2 containers, 10 ounces each)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 24 sheets phyllo pastry, preferably fresh
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted


  1. Syrup: In saucepan over low heat, combine sugar, 1/4 cup water, lemon juice and honey, heating and stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat, while continuing to stir, and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Mix in orange-blossom water, chill and reserve.
  2. Filling: Place dates, orange juice, 1/2 cup water, orange zest and cinnamon in a food processor. Using on/off turns, process until dates are minced. Continue to process until coarse paste forms. Reserve filling.
  3. Pastry: Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Mix sugar and cinnamon.
  5. Unroll phyllo and stack on work surface. Using the bottom of a 10-inch round cake pan (preferably springform) as a guide, cut 24 (10-inch) rounds. Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper or foil and then brush bottom and sides with butter. Cover outside of pan (sides and bottom) with foil to prevent leaking.
  6. Place 2 phyllo rounds in pan. Brush with butter; sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Repeat the layering 4 more times for a total of 10 sheets. Evenly spread half of filling over top. Top with 2 phyllo circles. Brush with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and repeat for a total of 4 sheets. Spread with remaining filling. Layer the remaining 10 circles (2 at a time) over filling, brushing with butter and sprinkling with cinnamon sugar.
  7. Using a sharp knife, score the pastry by cutting through the top layer (without cutting through to the filling) in 6 parallel lines. Working in the opposite direction, cut 5 parallel lines on the diagonal to form diamond shapes.
  8. Bake baklava 30 minutes, then cover with foil and bake 20 minutes longer or until top is golden brown. Remove from oven, cool slightly, and then cut through scored lines to bottom of pan. Spoon cold syrup over hot baklava. Cool.

Yields 30 servings

Nutritional information per serving: 132 calories; 0.9 grams protein; 25 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams fat; 9 milligrams cholesterol; 38 milligrams sodium