Apricot Baklava Recipe
Yields 24 pieces
Sweet and buttery, this traditional pastry of the Middle East is always made with honey and nuts.
In our version, the unorthodox apricot custard layer in the middle comes as a welcome surprise.
2 cups dried apricots
1/2 cup melted butter
2 cups apple or apricot juice or water
1 pound phyllo dough (see Appendix)
1 cup honey
3 cups almonds, toasted and finely chopped
Simmer the dried apricots in the juice or water for about 1 hour. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Purée the cooled, cooked apricots with the eggs in a food processor or in two batches in a blender.
Using a pastry brush or a small paint brush, butter a baking sheet. Unroll the phyllo dough.
Carefully place two leaves of phyllo on the baking sheet. They should be flat and unwrinkled.
Brush the top with butter and sprinkle with chopped almonds.
Work quickly or keep the remaining unbuttered phyllo dough covered or it will dry and crack and become difficult to use.
Continue this procedure until about half of the phyllo is used. Then spread the apricot purée evenly on the top layer of phyllo.
Continue layering phyllo, butter, and almonds, ending with a buttered leaf of phyllo sprinkled with chopped almonds.
Before baking the baklava, score it with a sharp knife, cutting through the top few layers, but not as deep as the custard layer, to form a diamond or rectangular pattern, each piece a serving size, about 3 inches across.
Bake at 3500 for about 30 minutes, until the top is golden.
When it has cooled about 20 minutes but is still warm, cut it all the way
through the scoring and then drizzle the honey evenly over the entire baklava.
Serve with an aperitif or a cup of your favorite coffee or tea. Store refrigerated and well covered.