texas pecan baklava


Baklava gets a Texas-sized twist with locally-grown pecans and Ruby Red grapefruit infused honey syrup.

If you know anyone from Texas, then you know that they are from Texas. Having been raised in the Lone Star State myself, I too share the same pride for my home state as every Texan does.

I spent many late Fall afternoons pecan picking with my Mommom in the Texas Hill Country and couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate Texas Independence Day than with a delicious recipe showcasing Texas pecans. Lucky for me, mom just sent us two pounds of pecans and our local grocer just got in a gorgeous shipment of Texas Ruby Red Grapefruits.

This Texas Pecan Baklava with Ruby Red Grapefruit Infused Honey Syrup is packed full of Texas pride and flavors worthy of the popular slogan “Everything’s Bigger in Texas.” Happy Texas Independence Day, y’all!

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TEXAS PECAN BAKLAVA WITH RUBY RED GRAPEFRUIT INFUSED HONEY SYRUP
 
INGREDIENTS
Filling
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 16 ounces raw pecans
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 pound phyllo dough, thawed
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter, melted
Syrup
  • 1¼ cups honey
  • 1¼ cups water
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 large pieces of fresh grapefruit peel
PREPARATION
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Pulse pecans, sugar, cinnamon and allspice in the food processor until finely chopped, but not powdery. (Approximately 10-15 quick pulses)
  3. Lay out stacks of phyllo dough and trim to fit the bottom of a 13x9-inch cake pan or Pyrex baking dish. Brush the bottom and sides of baking dish with melted butter.
  4. Lay a sheet of phyllo dough on bottom of baking dish, brush entire top surface with even coat of butter. Lay another sheet of phyllo dough, brush with butter and repeat for a total of ten sheets of phyllo and butter.
  5. Sprinkle evenly with ⅓ of the nut mixture. Lay a sheet of phyllo dough on top of nut mixture, brush entire top surface with butter, and repeat for a total of six sheets of dough and butter. Repeat with another ⅓ of nut mixture followed by six more sheets of phyllo and butter. Sprinkle the final ⅓ of the nut mixture and finish by layering eight more sheets of phyllo dough and butter. Brush the top layer of phyllo dough generously with remaining melted butter.
  6. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove baking dish from the oven and cut into desired number of squares or triangles. Return to oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Allow baking dish to cool on a wire rack for approximately two hours before adding the honey syrup.
  7. Prepare the syrup during the last 30 minutes of cooling by combining all ingredients in a 4-quart saucepan. Bring ingredients to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Boil for ten minutes, stirring as needed to prevent mixture from boiling over. Remove syrup from the heat and set aside, discarding the grapefruit peel and cinnamon sticks.
  8. After two hours of cooling, cut the baklava along the same lines previously cut, making sure to go all the way through the bottom layers. Pour the honey syrup over the top of the baklava, generously saturating around the cuts and edges of the baking dish.
  9. Cover dish and allow the baklava to soak for at least 8 hours before serving. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.