Sunday, December 30, 2012

Apple Baklava

Baklava is one of those desserts that sounds exotic and looks very impressive. This recipe adapted from AmyBites is delicious. I won't lie to you--it is time-consuming. But it's so easy to make...and so worth it!

Syrup Ingredients:

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup honey
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup water
Dash ground ginger
Dash ground cloves
Dash ground nutmeg

Baklava Ingredients:

2 cups walnuts

1 cup pecans
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 large apple, thinly sliced
1 roll thawed phyllo dough
melted butter

Syrup Directions:

Combine all syrup ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Lower heat to medium-low and continue to boil until reduced by half. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

Baklava Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Spread nuts out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 5 minutes. Transfer to a food processor. Add brown sugar and cinnamon. Pulse until the mixture has a medium-fine texture.

Spray an 8×8 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Lay phyllo sheets out flat and cover with plastic wrap, then with a damp kitchen towel. Working quickly, take one sheet and fold in half in the bottom of the baking dish. Brush with melted butter. Repeat stacking and brushing with four more sheets. Spread about 1/4 of the nut mixture on top of the dough layer. Place half of the apple slices in a single, even layer on top of the nuts. Cover with another thin layer of nuts, using about 1/3 of the nut mixture total.

Repeat this process a second time. Then repeat a third time, leaving out the apples. Top with another 5 sheets of dough and melted butter. Using a sharp knife, cut into 16 equal squares. 

Bake at 350 degrees until dough is light golden-brown, about 45 minutes. 

Pour cooled syrup over hot baklava. Cool to room temperature before serving.

Makes 16 squares.

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