To make this middle eastern dessert vegan substitute the butter with vegetable oil.
- FOR THE BAKLAVA
- 8 sheets frozen phyllo pastry
- 200 grams roasted almonds with skin
- 150 grams finely chopped dried Turkish apricots
- 2.5 tablespoons of granulated sugar powdered in a mixer
- 250-300 grams butter, melted or unflavoured vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp orange zest
- FOR THE BAKLAVA SYRUP
- 2 cups of water
- 4 tablespoons granulated or castor sugar
- 1 cup honey (organic bee friendly honey where possible)
- Juice of one lemon or lime juice
- 1 cinnamon stick about 3 inches
ALMOND APRICOT BAKLAVA
- Set the ingredients for the syrup to boil on a medium flame. Let the volume reduce by half. Switch off flame and remove the cinnamon stick. Reserve.
- Pulse almonds until they are very tiny but not powdered.
- Combine all the ingredients for the baklava in a mixing bowl. Reserve.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare bottom rack.
- Brush bottom of 11 by 13 inch baking tray with butter
- In a large baking tray place 2 sheets of phyllo at the bottom. Brush generously with oil or butter and ensure that the sheets are uniformly greased.
- Lay 2 more sheets over this and butter or oil again from end to end.
- Spread the nut filling all over these sheets.
- Cover with 2 more sheets of phyllo. Oil or butter them from end to end.
- Place 2 more sheets over the baklava and brush with remaining butter or oil.
- Using a sharp kitchen knife cut into the baklava to form 12 equal squares.
- Do this slowly to prevent the sheets from tearing. Your knife doesn’t have to go right through all the layers but once the phyllo bakes it will be easier to separate the pieces.
- Bake about 35 minutes until golden brown all over.
- Pour warm syrup over hot baklava so as to drench it completely.
- Cool 30 minutes. Using a knife gently separate the 12 pieces.
- This will keep refrigerated for upto 2 days in an airtight container but serve it as soon as you can because in a humid climate the pastry can soften and lose its crispness.