Our version of baklava, the sticky dessert popular in the Mediterranean and Middle East, pairs pistachios and honey with lemon and cardamom for a modern take on a classic treat. While the bottom is our standard crust, the topping of crisped, flaky layers of phyllo dough reflects the origins of this pie.



Pie dough for a Standard Single Crust (this page) 

9-inch standard pie plate 

Instant-read thermometer 

Pie crust shield or foil (see this page) 




Unsalted butter, melted6 tablespoons3 ounces85 grams

Sugar1 cup7 ounces200 grams

Salt½ teaspoon

Honey⅓ cup4 ounces113 grams

Light corn syrup⅓ cup4 ounces113 grams

Finely grated lemon zest1 teaspoon

Fresh lemon juice1 tablespoon0.5 ounce14 grams

Ground cardamom¼ teaspoon

Ground cinnamon¼ teaspoon

Eggs3 large

Pistachios, shelled, roasted, unsalted, and coarsely chopped1¾ cups10 ounces283 grams


Phyllo dough, thawed3 sheets

Unsalted butter, melted1½ tablespoons0.75 ounce21 grams

Sugar2 teaspoons

PARTIALLY BLIND-BAKE THE CRUST: Follow the instructions on this page. The pie will bake longer after the filling is added, so it should not be completely browned at this point. Remove the pie dish from the oven, set it on a wire cooling rack, and remove the foil or parchment and pie weights. Decrease the oven temperature to 275°F. 

MAKE THE FILLING: When the crust is almost finished blind-baking, use a medium microwave-safe bowl and whisk together the melted butter, sugar, salt, honey, corn syrup, lemon zest, lemon juice, cardamom, and cinnamon. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Microwave the mixture at medium (50%) power, checking the temperature and stirring every minute or so until it gets to 130°F. (You can also use a double boiler; to do so, fill a medium saucepan with 1 inch of water, bring the water to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and set the bowl over the water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water; whisk constantly until it reaches 130°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 10 minutes.) 

FILL THE CRUST: Fold the pistachios into the filling. Place a pie crust shield on the pie to protect the edges from drips and splashes and pour the mixture into the warm pie shell. 

MAKE THE TOPPING: Place 1 sheet of phyllo on the countertop and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar and cover with a second sheet of phyllo. Brush that sheet with melted butter and sprinkle with the other teaspoon of sugar. Place the third sheet of phyllo on top and gently press the dough all over to seal. Place a 9-inch circle (such as a cake pan, a plate, or a circle cut from cardboard or parchment) on top. Using a sharp knife or pizza wheel, trim away the excess phyllo from around the circle. Remove the cake pan and slice the circle into 8 even wedges (like a pie). Place the phyllo wedges slightly overlapping around the surface of the pie. 

BAKE THE PIE: Carefully transfer the filled pie to the middle rack of the oven and bake until the phyllo wedges have browned, crisped, and puffed, and the filling is set, about 60 minutes. If the center still sloshes when the pie is moved, continue baking, checking every 5 minutes until the filling has puffed and the center wobbles slightly. Allow the pie to cool completely at room temperature before serving. (Leftovers can be stored, covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days.) 


You’ve probably figured out by now that there are way more sheets of phyllo dough in a box than just the three you used for the pie topping in this pie. If you weren’t already planning on having spanakopita for dinner on the day you have the pie for dessert, you may be wondering what to do with the extra. Fortunately, phyllo can be re-wrapped and re-frozen for future use. In addition to savory pies for dinner, you can use the same three-layered phyllo topping trick for other baked pies—say, if your top lattice isn’t working out or you forgot to make enough dough for a top crust; just pull the leftover phyllo out of the freezer for a quick fix.

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