½ cup shelled pistachios
½ cup shelled walnut pieces
¾ sliced almonds
2 cups sugar + ¼ cup sugar
1 cup water
½ cup honey
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
3 ounces almond paste (marzipan)
7 sheets phyllo
About ¼ cup canola oil or melted butter for dairy meal
Preheat oven to 350
1) Place all the nuts on an ungreased cookie sheet. Lightly toast the nuts until they are golden brown. Let cool.
2) Transfer the nuts to a food processor, add the ¼ cup of sugar and pulse until the nuts are slightly ground but chunks remain.
3) Transfer the nuts to a mixing bowl. Break up the almond paste with your fingers and mix it into the nuts.
4) Place the water, remaining sugar, honey, star anise and cinnamon stick in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer and turn off.
5) Place a sheet of phyllo on a cutting board or work surface. Lightly brush the phyllo with canola oil. Place a second sheet on top of the prepared sheet and lightly brush it with oil. Continue in this manner until all sheets are brushed.
6) Place the nuts on the prepared phyllo and spread them to cover the bottom 2/3 of the phyllo. Roll the phyllo away from and press down to form a slightly flattened log.
7) Place the log on a baking sheet. Score the baklava with a sharp knife every 1 ½ inches. Brush the baklava with the remaining oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned. Pour the hot syrup over the baklava and allow the syrup to penetrate the cut pieces and drip down the sides.
8) Cool thoroughly before serving