I love baklava, especially made with pecans (I’m highly allergic to pistachios and not overly fond of walnuts, but you can use either of those or a mixture) and I also love apple strudel made with light, crispy phyllo dough. I realized that combining the two couldn’t be bad and created this Apple Pecan Baklava.
If you don’t follow the tradition of not eating nuts for Rosh Hashana, this would make a lovely dessert for the holiday — if you do, then just save this and make it for another occasion. Enjoy!
Apple Pecan Baklava
- 1 lb. phyllo dough
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine — melted
- 2 lb. Granny Smith apples — peeled, cored and diced
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp. flour
- 4 cups pecan halves — approx. 3/4 lb.
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 2/3 cup honey
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 cups water
- lemon zest — from 1 lemon
- orange zest — from 1 orange
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Apple layer: Place the apples, honey and cinnamon into a non-stick skillet, stirring over medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until any liquid has evaporated and the apples have softened. Remove from the heat and add flour, stirring until it’s mixed in. Cool.
Nut Layer: Place the pecans, sugar and cinnamon in the food processor. Pulse until the pecans are coarsely ground. If you start with ground pecans (3/4 lb.) just mix them with the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
Assemble: Melt the margarine/butter and use a pastry brush to coat a 3 qt. or 13x9x2″ baking dish. Cut the phyllo sheets in half, then lay one sheet on the bottom of the baking dish. Lightly brush with butter/margarine and repeat with another 5 layers of phyllo. Sprinkle 1/4 of the nut mixture (about 1 cup) over the phyllo, and layer another 5 sheets of phyllo, continuing to brush each sheet with butter/margarine. Repeat the nut mixture and another 5 sheets of phyllo, then add all of the cooked apples, spreading them out in an even layer. Top with another 5 sheets of phyllo, 1 cup of nuts, 5 sheets of phyllo, 1 cup of nuts and then top it off with the final 7 sheets of phyllo.
Use a serrated knife to carefully cut the baklava into pieces. Traditionally, baklava is cut diagonally, so that the pieces form diamonds. Make sure you cut right through to the bottom.
Place in a preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes or until a dark golden brown.
Syrup: As the baklava bakes, prepare the syrup. Place all of the syrup ingredients into a pot over medium-high heat and stir. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Keep the syrup warm (on a very low element) until the baklava has finished baking. Remove the baklava from the oven and carefully pour the syrup through a strainer, over the baklava. Once the liquid hits the baklava, it may start to boil and splatter, so be very careful.
Let the baklava cool for at least an hour before serving. Can be made a day ahead.