How to make Walnut and Pistachio Baklava
* 3/4 c. plus 3 tablespoons sugar
* 1 tsp. honey
* 2 tsp. fresh orange juice
* 1 1/2 c. shelled, raw pistachios
* 1 1/2 c. walnut halves
* 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
* 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
* 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan
* 18 sheets phyllo dough
In a small saucepan, bring 3/4 cup of the sugar and ¾ cup water to a simmer and cook until the sugar is dissolved and thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Let cool completely then stir in honey and orange juice.
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a food processor, pulse pistachios, walnuts, cinnamon, salt and the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar until the nuts are very finely ground. They must be very finely ground for the baklava layers to stay together
Unroll the stack of phyllo on a work surface and trim to a 8-inch square. Immediately cover the stack with a layer of plastic wrap and a dishtowel to keep the plastic in place. Keep the phyllo covered while you work, lifting the plastic and towel only to grab one sheet at a time. Brush an 8-inch square baking pan with butter and line with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides. Brush the parchment with butter. Lay 1 sheet of phyllo on the bottom. Brush sheet lightly with butter and add another sheet. Repeat this process with 4 more sheets. Top evenly with 1/3 of the nut mixture and drizzle with 1 tablespoon butter. Add 4 more sheets of phyllo layered with butter.
Top with the another 1/3 of the nut mixture and another tablespoon of butter. Add 4 more sheets of phyllo layered with butter. Top with the remaining nut mixture and another tablespoon of butter. Finish with the remaining 5 sheets of phyllo layered with butter
Using a sharp knife, cut the baklava into 24 pieces. Be careful not to cut the parchment on the bottom. Bake until golden brown and crisp, 35 to 40 minutes. Pour the cool syrup all over the warm baklava. Let cool completely at room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and let stand overnight. Use the parchment to transfer the baklava to a cutting board and recut into pieces before serving. Baklava will keep, tightly wrapped in the refrigerator, for about a week.