An autumn version of the highly loved baklava…great way to use up some apples, which are no longer as crunchy as you wish. I was amazed at how much flavour the first walnuts have – welcome to my home, baklava…!
- Oven proof form ca. 20cm x 30 cm
For the syrup
- 70 ml water
- 250 ml apple juice
- 250 g honey the quality and flavour of your honey will make a huge difference to the taste of your syrup
- 200 g sugar I used brown sugar
- 2 slices of pealed apple
- 1 cinnamon stick
For the baklava
- 450 g phyllo dough
- 300 g crushed walnuts I used fresh walnuts from this season and had to first crack them and then crush them (took me over 1h...), but you can definitely also buy them already cracked...just try to stay with local ones...
- 400 g apples pealed and finely diced - any apple will be fine, again, try to stay with local products. As the apples will be nearly mashed, this receipe is a good way to use up some "not so fresh anymore" apples...
- ½ lemon juice only
- 60 g bread crumbs
- 50 g brown sugar
- 1 tea spoon ground cinnamon
- ½ tea spoon salt
- 200 g butter I used margarine with butter
For the syrup
- In a middle sized pot combine all the ingredients for the syrup. Let it come to a boil and then reduce the heat and stir until both the sugar and the honey have dissolved. Be careful when the mixture is at a boil, as the syrup rises very quickly and might boil over your pot. Once the sugar and honey are dissolved, turn off the heat and set the syrup aside.
For the baklava
- Combine the walnuts, apples, lemon juice, breadcrumbs, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, salt and 100 g of the melted butter. Stir well and set aside.
- Carefully brush the bottom and sides of your form with some of the melted butter. Then place two sheets of your phyllo dough at the bottom of the form and carefully brush the top with some of the melted butter. You will realise that the sheet of phyllo is too large for your form, this is ok. Just let the additional part hang over the side of your form. Add another two sheets of phyllo dough and again, carefully brush some of the melted butter. This time let the additional dough hang over the opposite side of your form. To finish off, add another two sheets of phyllo dough - same here, brush it with melted butter and let it hang over the first side.
- Now fill ½ of your apple and walnuts mixture over the 6 sheets of phyllo dough. Cover the mixture with two times 2 sheets of phyllo dough - always brushing some of the liquid butter in between the dough and always ensuring to let the overlapping dough rest over the side of your form.
- Now add the second ½ of your apple and walnuts mixture. Then take the two top parts of the overlapping phyllo dough you had from before - carefully brush some of the melted butter. Continue with each two sheets of phyllo dough - always adding a good brush of melted butter until your have fully covered your form and you have no more phyllo dough left. Make sure to apply another good brush of melted butter on the top.
- Using a very sharp knife, cut your pastry into three equal parts lengthwise and then cut the baklava into the shape you want it to be. Make sure that you cut to the very bottom of your form as it will be impossible to cut the baklava after it has been in the oven without breaking them.
- Bake them for about 30 minutes at 180° or until they are golden.
- Carefully pour your syrup over the baklava as soon as it comes out of the oven. Let it cool for a couple of hours before serving it. Baklava will keep for a couple of days and does not need to be kept in the fridge. Do not cover them with plastic or bee wax cloths as they will turn soggy and loose their crunchiness. Best is to cover them with a cotton/linen cloth and ensure you eat them within the 3-4 days that you make them.