Pistachio Baklava

36 pieces.

3 cups Finely chopped, shelled Pistachios
1/2 cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Ground nutmeg
one dash Ground cloves
1 1/2 cups Clarified butter
1 package Phyllo pastry sheets
Syrup (recipe follows)

Syrup: Combine 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon grated lime peel, 3 whole cloves and 1/2 stick cinnamon. Bring to a boil; simmer 20 minutes. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice; simmer 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat; cool.


Combine pistachios, sugar and spices. Keep butter warm; brush bottom of 13 x 9 x 2-inch metal pan with some of the clarified butter. Cut phyllo sheets in half crosswise; trim into 13 x 9-inch rectangles. Cover with waxed paper and damp tea towel to keep from drying out. Line pan with 10 sheets phyllo, brushing each with clarified butter; sprinkle with 1/3 cup pistachio mixture. Place 2 sheets phyllo on top of nuts; brush each with butter. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup nut mixture. Repeat layering 2 sheets phyllo, brushing each with butter and sprinkling with 1/3 cup pistachio mixture until all nut mixture is used. Top with remaining phyllo sheets brushing each with butter. With sharp knife, carefully cut through all layers into diamond-shaped pieces. Bake at 325° F. for 45 minutes; reduce heat to 275° F. and bake 20 minutes longer. Remove from oven; while still hot, carefully spoon cool syrup (see below) over baklava.

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fun facts

Pistachios, when eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, may result in lower than expected blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing risk of diabetes.

According to a Penn State University study, it is suggested that pistachios reduce the body's biological response to stress.

One serving of pistachios has as much potassium (300mg, 8%) as an orange (250mg, 7%).

Pistachios are high in phytosterols which may lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. In animal studies phytosterols have been shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties.

One serving of pistachios is 49 nuts, more than any other tree nut.

Forty-nine pistachios serve up to 20 percent of your Daily Value of B6, about the same as half an avocado.

You can obtain more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios (3g) than a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and the same amount of dietary fiber as an orange or an apple — approximately 10 percent of the Daily Value.

Just a single serving of pistachios provides you with the same amount of protein in a one-ounce serving of soybeans and can serve as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free snack and contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Celebrate the greatness of nuts! October 22 is National Nut Day and February 26 is National Pistachio Day!