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Monday, December 28, 2009

Apricot Baklava (by Maren)

Having lived in Turkey, I tweaked this Moosewood Restaurant recipe to include pistachios along with the almonds because there's nothing more Turkish than apricots and pistachios. I also changed the syrup from straight honey to a sugar/honey mix.

Apricot Baklava
2 cups dried apricots
2 cups apricot nectar or apple juice or water
4 eggs

3 cups almonds and/or walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup melted butter
18 sheets of phyllo dough (freezer section)
1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios

3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups water
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp fresh lemon juice

1. Simmer apricots in liquid for about 30 minutes. Remove and let cool. Purée cooled, cooked apricots in food processor or blender, add eggs and purée a little more till well blended. This is your "custard."

2. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment and brush the parchment with butter. Lay down 2 sheets of phyllo and butter the top one. (Work quickly or cover the other sheets so they don't dry out.) Sprinkle with almonds/walnuts, repeat with phyllo, butter and nuts until you've used half the sheets. Spread the custard layer on with a knife. Continue to layer 2 phyllo, butter and nuts until you end with the top layer buttered and covered with pistachios. Using a sharp knife, score the pastry down a few layers (but not quite to the custard) into the shape and size for serving- about 2 or 3 inches. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, boil the water, sugar and honey for several minutes. remove from heat and add lemon. When baklava has cooled 20 minutes but is still warm, cut all the way through scoring. Drizzle syrup over pastry and down the scoring lines. Makes about 24-30 pieces.

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