This Apple Spiced Baklava Recipe is an American twist on a popular Mediterranean pastry of nuts and spices encased in phyllo pastry.
What Is Baklava?
Baklava, known throughout Greece and Turkey, Baklawa in the Middle East, is a luscious butter lathered pastry stuffed with nuts and drizzled with honey.
I grew up making this dessert with a variety of nuts, and have changed many aspects of how I make it from the original recipes and techniques.
So why not make an American version of a Mediterranean nut pastry, I thought?
Yes! I will make something new and yet very American.
After all, apples are totally American, aren’t they!
Baklava – The Most Popular Middle Eastern Dessert
For sure the most popular dessert in the Middle Eastern world is this one.
And, unless you want to start a war over the correct name for Baklawa, Baklava or Baclava, I suggest you simply call it as you see it!
If you are really interested in the Assyrian Empire, many years ago, or Ottoman ancestors that made their own dough for this honey dessert, then read on!
Now that we’ve got the name and history sorted out, lets sweeten this conversation with more important information; nuts, spices and Apples!
Cooking With Apples
Unlike apple pie, this apple filling is simmered down into a beautiful apple caramel, filled with walnuts and raisins, rather than raw apples going into a pastry.
This luscious filling is then rolled inside layers of phyllo dough, and baked in less than 30 minutes.
I don’t know about you but I have often found that my raw apple slices don’t always cook as well as I would like inside of my pie crust, especially since I can’t see them tucked inside pastry.
Also the risk of over cooking the pie crust, in order to have the apples baked, made me skeptical of using raw apples in my phyllo dough.
This technique is easy and full-proof, also making it easier to roll the filling into a multi-layered phyllo dough pastry.
Crunchy outer, caramelized inner, all around deliciousness.
Working With Phyllo Dough
When layering sheets of phyllo dough, before filling with a sweet or savory filling, it is basted with melted butter or olive oil.
I tried something very different with this apple baklava technique. See what you think!
Since I pre-cook the apples in butter, olive oil, sugar and lots of spices, I used the juices and drippings from preparing the apple mixture on top the stove, as the basting liquid for the phyllo dough.
Oh my goodness! Apple juices, mingled with spices and enough butter and olive oil to make for the perfect flavor filled basting liquid for the dough.
Once the apple mixture is prepared and cooled, it is easily rolled inside of the basted phyllo dough and baked to perfection in under 30 minutes.
One package of phyllo dough has enough to make several apple baklava rolls.
So if you take the time to make several, they will freeze beautifully and reheat as though you just made them.
More Great Phyllo Recipes To Love – Sweet Or Savory
Who doesn’t love the pastry of phyllo dough.
When it’s baked, it is a crisp, comforting encasement of so many varied options stuffed inside.
Working with phyllo dough can seem intimidating at first but you will soon see how easily the dough can be ‘glued’ together with butter, oil or a basting liquid.
Here are just a few favorites in my kitchen.
- Baklava – of course, with many varied versions, depending on what is in my pantry in the way of nuts and even dried fruits.
- Rustic Rum Walnut Tart – Rustic Rum Walnut Tart, encased in a leftover puff pastry with a creamy mascarpone rum filling and lots of walnuts is simple, yet Patisserie tasting.
- Spanakopita – Healthy Spanakopita Spinach Pastry Recipe, made with olive oil, instead of butter, makes this fresh spinach, lemon and feta phyllo pastry, healthier.
- Mac and Cheese Crab Rolls – my cheesy macaroni, lump crab rolled in phyllo dough creation on Food Network’s Clash of the Grandma’s!
- Moroccan Pastilla Chicken Rolls – also known as Pastilla, are layers of chicken, eggs, almonds and spices, made simply into a Tapas chicken roll.
- Baklava Muffins – oh yes I did! Everything you enjoy about baklava is in these rosewater baklava muffins including the phyllo dough. Curious? You’ll have to hope over to Amazon and pick up a copy of My Muffin Madness Cookbook this this recipe and 51 kookie yet fabulous other muffins!!
- Olive oil
- Ground Cardamom
- Ground Nutmeg
- Ground Cloves
- Phyllo dough
- Saute pan
- Cutting board
- Chopping knife
- Vegetable peeler
- Slotted spatula
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Basting brush
- Baking sheet pan
- Parchment paper
- Stovetop or burner
So You Think Apple Baklava Is A Kookie Idea?
Certainly you think apple baklava is a kookie idea, but you won’t once you taste it!
Everything you might love about baklava is in this easy to make apple pastry.
Equally kookie, how would you like to try an Apple Wellington!
Apple Spiced Baklava Recipe
- Skillet with lid
- Baking sheet pan
- Basting brush
- 3 tbsp Butter
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 Lemon juice and zest
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 1/4 tsp Ground Cardamom
- 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp Ground Cloves
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/2 cup Walnuts or pecans rough chopped
- 1/4 cup Raisins
- 5 Apples peeled, cored and sliced thin
- 10 Phyllo dough sheets
- 1 tbsp Honey
- Preheat oven to 350
- In a large frying pan with a lid, melt butter with olive oil. Add the apples, lemon juice, sugar, and spices. Toss well and cook covered on medium for about 10 minutes. Remove cover and lower a bit to cook another 5 minutes, tossing occasionally. Turn off.
- With a slotted spoon remove all the apples into a mixing bowl. Add nuts, raisins and lemon zest, toss and set aside.
- Baste a stack of 10 sheets of phyllo dough with the juice in the pan from cooking the apples.
- Lay a mound of cooked apple mixture in a log-shape at the long end of the stack of dough.
- Roll it up, baste more liquid all around to hold it together nicely. Transfer to a parchment paper lined sheet pan. Make a few small slices at an angle on top of the dough, taking care not to cut through to the filling (this always makes phyllo easier to cut after it’s baked).
- Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until golden on top.
- Remove from the oven, finish cutting all the way through, and while it is still warm, drizzle honey across the top. Cool and serve.
- A little dollop of mascarpone on top is delicious as would be whipped cream, or nothing at all!
- When eating a day or two later, be certain to pop a slice into the oven for a few minutes to freshen up the crunch and warm the spice and apples.