The baklava comes out of the oven sizzling hot and the reduced syrup of honey, apricots, orange zest and cinnamon gets poured over, cooling to a sticky glaze.
(Makes one 9x13 inch pan)
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds or pistachios
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
8 ounces butter for brushing
1/2 package phyllo sheets, thawed
Honey and Cinnamon Apricots (recipe follows)
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Combine the nuts with the sugar and spices. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Unroll the phyllo sheets on a work surface. Trim them to approximately fit your pan. Place a sheet of plastic wrap over the top and weight this down with a damp towel. This will keep the phyllo moist while you work with it.
With a pastry brush, coat the inside of a 9x13 inch baking pan with butter. Lay one phyllo sheet in the pan, tucking the ends under, and brush with melted butter. Top this with another sheet of phyllo and brush with butter. Repeat until you have 5 sheets. Sprinkle this sheet evenly with half of the nut mixture. Top with another butter-brushed 5 sheets and then the rest of the nut mixture. Place 5 more butter-brushed sheets on top to form the top crust. Brush the top with butter.
With a sharp knife, score the pastry into diamonds, cutting all the way to the bottom of the pan. Bake for about 35-45 minutes, or until the pastry is deep golden brown.
While the baklava is baking prepare the apricots.
Honey and Cinnamon Apricots:
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 tablespoons orange liqueur
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 stick cinnamon
6 ripe apricots, 4 plums or 3 nectarines, pits removed and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
Combine the honey, sugar, orange and lemon juices, orange liqueur, orange zest and cinnamon in a sauce pan and boil for 8-10 minutes or until syrupy. Stir in the apricots.
When the pastry comes from the oven, pour the syrup over the pan and allow to cool. Serve the diamonds topped with crème fraiche or vanilla bean ice cream.
Recipe developed by Lynne Vea