A Month of Pumpkin continues with another great pumpkin recipe from one of my fave Arkansas bloggers. Thank you, Terri, for being part of this series. I can’t wait to make this!
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Open the roll of phyllo dough and discard the paper. Gently unroll the phyllo dough until it lays flat on the counter. You can use a cookie sheet if you feel uncomfortable letting it rest on the counter. Cover the dough with the damp towel. Meanwhile, pull a 9- X 13-inch baking pan out of the cabinet and set it aside. There’s no need to grease the pan or use a cooking spray. The butter will keep it from sticking to the pan.
I know there are baklava recipes that caution you to butter each layer of phyllo dough. I don’t do that. It’s really not necessary and you’ll see why in a little bit.
Uncover the phyllo dough and put one layer of phyllo dough in the bottom of the pan. If it comes up the sides a little, that’s okay. Now put down five more layers, for a total of six layers of dough. Take about 1/3 to ½ cup of the pumpkin mixture and quickly smear it as gently and evenly as possible over the phyllo sheets.
Combine walnuts and 1/3 cup brown sugar in a food processor and grind in short pulses until finely ground. Set aside.
Gently unroll the phyllo dough and cover with a damp towel to keep it from drying out.
In a 9- X 13-inch baking pan, lay out six layers of phyllo dough one at a time on top of each other. Spread a heaping 1/3 cup of pumpkin mixture over the first layers of the phyllo dough. Sprinkle about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the walnut mixture evenly over the pumpkin mixture. Lay two sheets of phyllo dough on top of walnut mixture. Again, spread a heaping 1/3 cup pumpkin mixture evenly over the dough and sprinkle with 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the walnut mixture. Continue layering the pumpkin and walnut mixtures and two layers of phyllo dough until you have five layers of the pumpkin and walnut mixtures. You should have used all of the pumpkin and nut mixtures. Top last layer of nut mixture with six remaining phyllo dough sheets, one at a time.
Using a sharp serrated knife, make your first cut lengthwise down the middle. Gently cut all the way through to the bottom of the pan, holding the phyllo dough in place with the fingers of your free hand on either side of the knife. If you are going to make diagonal servings, cut four equal lengths. For individual bite-sized servings, cut six equal lengths. You can refer to my post for Maple Bacon Baklavafor photos of how to cut for individual bite-sized servings.
Melt the butter in a small pan over medium low heat, being careful not to scorch or burn. Once it has melted, use a spoon to pour the butter over the baklava, making sure that it drizzles down into the cuts and along the sides. Use all of the butter. If it settles on top of the baklava, pick up the baking dish and rock it back and forth so that any remaining pools of butter soaks into the cuts and down the sides.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until nice and brown.
Just before removing the baklava from the oven, reheat the Pumpkin Spice Syrup in a small pan or the microwave.
When the baklava is done, remove it from the oven and drizzle immediately with the hot syrup. Allow to cool completely before serving.