If traditional Middle Eastern/European Baklava and all-American Apple Pie had a baby, it would be Apple Maple Baklava. Apple Maple Baklava still has everything you love about the ancient treat – many leaves of Phyllo dough layered with walnuts and sweet syrup – but with typical American fall flavors added.
We have a group of friends who get-together every second month for a wine-tasting. The theme for our October meeting was “Wines from Greece”. I usually try to make a dessert to go along with the theme for the night, so as soon as I knew we were tasting Greek wines I thought I should make baklava. But I had a whole bunch of beautiful apples from our farm so maybe I should make an apple tart or pie. Hey, why not combine the two? As soon as I thought of adding apples to baklava I knew I would switch out the traditional honey in the syrup with real maple syrup.
Perfecting Apple Maple Baklava:
For my first batch of Apple Maple Baklava I used a typical Greek-style baklava recipe, simply adding diced apples to the layers and switching out the honey for maple syrup. The first batch tasted good enough to bring to the wine-group but I wasn’t completely happy with the result. It was too sweet and a bit soggy. Before the recipe was blog-worthy I’d have to go back to the drawing board.
For the revised recipe I used half as much sugar and water but used the same amount of maple syrup as I did for the first batch. Not only was the second batch less sweet and soggy, the maple flavor was more pronounced. The lemon juice in the syrup marries the apple and maple flavors perfectly.
Apple Maple Baklava is a bit moister and softer than the traditional variety because the apples in the filling give off some moisture as they bake. The small loss of crispiness is a fair trade-off for the lovely fall flavors.
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