If you are reading this post hoping for a recipe then I am sorry to disappoint you - it would be unfair to reproduce Ms Roden's recipe without the lengthy narrative that gives the dessert its context. I can however hazard a guess at how my grandmother would have explained it to me if I had asked her: Make the syrup but be careful not to let it turn to toffee. Chop the nuts, add some sugar and sprinkle with orange blossom water. Melt the butter. 'How much?', I would ask her, 'About this much' she would say taking an unquantified dollop of ghee from the big tin in the kitchen. 'Or maybe more'. Then I can imagine her laying each sheet of filo pastry in the sanaaya (a round shallow metallic baking dish) brushing each one with the melted butter, adding the chopped nuts mixture and layering the rest on top. If I asked how long it should bake for, I imagine the answer would be, 'Until its ready'. She wouldn't have had a timer or watched the clock but she would know what a baklava looked like when it was ready. Baking these pastries wasn't something that my grandmother and other Egyptian women (especially of her generation) had to learn from a book, it was in their blood.