December 30th, 2005


tonight's escapades include honey

edited at 3am


1 package phyllo (or fillo)
3/4 cup coarsely ground walnuts
3/4 cup finely ground walnuts
1/2 cup finely ground almonds
1 tblsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 lb unsalted butter

note: i ended up putting in about another .5 cups of nuts


1 lb honey
some water
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 lemon, juice thereof


* thaw the phyllo (7 hours in the fridge, thank you very much). if you don't do this in this manner, you'll end up with frozen/gummy/crusty/tearing phyllo sheets.

* preheat oven to 300 degrees (F)

* mix all the nuts and the ground spices in a bowl.

* melt the butter

* unwrap the phyllo and lay it between 2 dampish towels. this keeps the damned stuff from getting crusty

* take a 15ish x 10ish pan. smear butter all over it.

* lay 1 sheet of phyllo on the bottom of the pan. slather butter all over it. do this until you have 10 layers of phyllo. (this ended up being 5 sheets, as the organic phyllo stuff that whole foods carries only has 20 sheets to a box)

* put down even layer of the nut mixture.

* put a sheet of phyllo over them - butter it. this is the hardest part, because it will want to shred. repeat until you have 3 layers.

* add another layer of nuts, then 3 more layers of phyllo and butter, and so on, repeating until the nuts done be all runned out.

* once the nuts be runned out, apply layers of phyllo and butter until you've done runned out of phyllo.

* using your fingers, push the edges of the phyllo down, sort of crimping them down

* cut the pastry. typically you do some sort of parallelogrammy sort of thing. (i have discovered that really good (sharp) japanese knives work really well for this, letting you cut the wet phyllo dough without smushing or tearing)

* heat the remaining butter up, then pour it evenly over the pastry.

* jam the damned thing into the oven for about an hour, until it's golden/crispy on top. (in my oven this turned out to be 1:25)

about 15-20 minutes before the pastry bit is done, make the sauce.

* put honey and water and cinnamon stick and cloves into a pot. how much water? i dunno, i lost the recipe. i'll be winging it and hoping for the best. (i ended up using 4 cups. i'll know tomorrow evening if i guessed right.)

* bring the stuff to a boil. DO NOT LEAVE THE STOVE AT THIS TIME. for some unremembered number of minutes, boil this stuff, making sure not to let it boil over the top. use a large, flat spoon to scoop out the sludge that will form on the top. the sludge is nasty. throw it away. i think you do this for somewhere between 5-10 minutes.

* take it off the heat when done. remove the cinnamon stick, cloves, any residual scum, and any lemon seeds you missed before.

* add vanilla extract and almond extract

then the timer will ding, or blare, or bleat, or whatever it is that it does.

* pull the pastry out of the oven and place it on something flat and reasonably fire resistant.

* pour the sauce on the pastry. if you have some left over, that's ok. it goes really well on pancakes and waffles. put some tin-foil lightly over it, and let it set for 24 hours. do not refrigerate.

so that's the plan. 'course, it's midnight now, and i have yet to get started on this thing, so we won't have 24 hours to set, but hopefully all will be good anyway.