Makes 24 pieces
1 large orange
1 pound bacon, cooked until very crisp
2 cups slivered almonds, lightly toasted
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1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 pound phyllo pastry sheets
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
8 allspice berries, crushed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Finely grate the zest from the orange and then juice the orange; set the juice aside. Combine the orange zest, bacon, almonds, brown sugar and allspice in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Set aside.
Brush the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with a little of the melted butter. Using half of the phyllo sheets, brush each sheet with melted butter, fold it in half, and place it in the prepared pan, trimming it to fit, if necessary. Stack the buttered sheets on top of one another.
Spread the bacon mixture evenly over the layered phyllo pastry, and then, using the remaining phyllo sheets, brush each sheet with butter, fold, and stack on top of the filling. Brush the top sheet with melted butter. Using a sharp knife, score the top layer of pastry into 24 squares.
Bake the baklava until the pastry is golden brown and shrinks from the edges of the pan, about 45 minutes.
While the baklava is baking, prepare the syrup. Add enough water to the orange juice to make 1 1/2 cups. Pour the juice into a saucepan and add the granulated sugar and allspice berries. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Transfer the pan with the baked baklava to a wire rack. Strain the syrup and pour it evenly over the warm baklava. Leave at room temperature until completely cool. Cut the baklava into squares to serve. The baklava keeps for 4 to 5 days at room temperature.
Nutritional analysis per piece: 333 calories, 21 grams fat, 28 grams carbohydrates, 10 grams protein, 26 milligrams cholesterol, 396 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber, 55 percent of calories from fat.
From “Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient,” by Jennifer McLagan (Ten Speed Press, $32.50)