Preparation / Directions:
Combine 3 cups sugar, the water, honey, whole lemon rind, and whole spices in a saucepan and bring to boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, then remove the lemon peel and spices and cool.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the nuts, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and ground spices and set aside. Lay filo sheets flat, cover with waxed paper and then a damp towel. Keep covered except when removing to assemble the baklava. Count 8 filo sheets, fold, cover and refrigerate to reserve for the top. Using a large pastry brush, butter an 11 1/2-inch by 15 1/2-inch by 3-inch baking pan. Lay a filo sheet on the bottom of the pan, brush with warm butter, and repeat using 8 sheets. Scoop up a handful of the nut-spice mixture and sprinkle over the top filo sheet inside the pan. Lay on 3 or more filo sheets, brushing each with butter, and sprinkle again with the nut mixture. Continue until all the nuts and filo are used. (The important things here are to butter each filo and spread the nuts evenly. The way to do the latter is to rotate the pan several times during the procedure.) Now you can remove the reserved sheets from the refrigerator and spread over the top, brushing on each sheet.
Using a long, very sharp knife, score the baklava from top to bottom into diamond shapes planning in advance the size desired. Be sure the knife touches the bottom of the pan as you cut. Heat the remaining butter to sizzling and pour over the top. Bake in a 300 degree oven for 1 1/4 hours or until golden chestnut in color and flaky. Remove from the oven (in the pan) to a rack, and spoon the cooled syrup over the entire pastry. Cool in the pan, then serve each piece individually.
Cutting Diagram: ___________________________________