Monday, July 23, 2012

Apricot Baklava Strudel

When I saw Lisa's photos of this dessert on Instagram, I immediately asked if she'd write a guest post for me.  I get Sunset too and let me tell you, her photos are better than the magazine's!  You might read her travel writing in Sunset someday but until then, check her out here.

I’m not a cook. Seriously. I like make soup and sandwiches. Cheese and crackers and fruit. That’s my idea of cooking. Luckily I married someone who likes to cook.

I do, however, like to bake. I haven’t been able to lately because I swore off sugary goods for awhile and then I started going back to school. While working. Life was just too busy for me. But a few weekends ago, I found myself in the unusual position of not being ridiculously busy and reading Sunset magazine. Heaven.

I decided to bake a dessert from Sunset magazine with all of its sugary goodness. Simple ingredients: apricots, nuts, honey, sugar, cardamom, and filo dough. Forget that I have never baked with filo dough before. I HAD NOTHING TO DO, REMEMBER?

It actually went pretty well. Except for a few hairy moments of OMIGOSH FILO DOUGH IS FRAGILE and me yelping as I try to lay each piece down without breaking it. Literally, if you heard me in the kitchen, it was me saying ahhhhh please don’t break ahhhhhh followed by the quiet application of butter and nuts only to have me repeat the previous chant.

My store bought apricots weren't as sweet as the ones from my tree.  But the end result was a not too sweet and balanced dessert.  Delicious.

Apricot Baklava Strudel (serves 8)
from Sunset

  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 12 ounces ripe apricots, quartered
  • 1/3 cup raw almonds
  • 1/3 cup pistachios
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 10 sheets (12 by 17 in.) filo dough
  • 1/2 cup melted butter 
Preheat oven to 375°. Bring honey and 1/4 cup sugar to a simmer in a saucepan, stirring to blend. Remove from heat and add apricots; set aside.
Whirl nuts, cardamom, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor until mostly ground. Set aside 2 tbsp.
Lay a piece of parchment paper on a work surface. Working with 1 filo sheet at a time, set on paper, brush with some butter, and sprinkle with a scant 2 tbsp. nut mixture; repeat, stacking filo and pressing down to seal.
Spoon apricots with a bit of honey mixture on filo stack along a long side. Roll up. Arrange roll on a diagonal on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment. Brush with more honey mixture; sprinkle with reserved 2 tbsp. nut mixture.
Bake until browned and juices are bubbling out the ends, 15 to 20 minutes.  Let cool completely before slicing.