Baklava seems to one of those food groups (you heard) that I am wholly obsessed with for a few months, overdo, and then rediscover months later, only to begin the same (opposite of vicious) cycle once again.
Given that the best baklava I've discovered (made by old ladies in the Lebanese shops on Sydney Road) is definitely 100% not gluten free (regrettably neither are their delicious and outrageously cheap pizzas) I've had to improvise with my own baklava varietals.
Because I am thoroughly lazy, I've not bothered to recreate baklava in it's entirety with the gluten free filo I've seen floating around - I think you can obtain the heavenly essence of it with the nuts, cinnamon and honey. Now that I have (re) discovered this, y'all better watch out for a bunch of baklava creations coming your way, because the baklava fever has well and truly hit again.
Having photographed baklava inspired ice cream for work recently, I decided it was only polite of myself to myself to get back on the baklava bandwagon and create a few baklava inspired recipes. This is the first of a few (brace urself) and, given that apricots are currently in season in Australia, I figured they would make for the perfect pair.
INGREDIENTS - I used a 20cmx20cm baking tin from the supermarket
FOR THE BASE
2 cups almond meal
1/2 cup tapioca flour
50g butter, cold or room temperature
3 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
pinch of table salt
FOR THE FILLING
500-600g apricots, de-stoned and cut into slices
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1-2 tablespoons water
FOR THE BAKLAVA CRUMB
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pistachios
2 tablespoons honey
2 1/2 - 3 teaspoons cinnamon
50g room temperature butter
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine all the ingredients for the apricots, and cook over a medium heat until they are jammy, around 10-15 minutes. Stir them occasionally to keep them from sticking to the bottom, while still allowing them to retain their shape.
3. While the apricots are cooking, put everything for the base, except the egg, in your food processor, and process until combined and crumbly. Add the egg, and continue to process until a ball of dough has formed.
4. Grease and line your tin, and press the base into the tin. There will be a chunk leftover after you have lined it - this is good. Set it aside.
5. Once the base is pressed into the tin, pour over the apricots, juice and all, and pop in the oven for 20 minutes.
6. Without washing the blender, add the baklava ingredients, along with the ball of excess dough from the base, and blend until a nutty crumble is formed.
7. When the slice has been in the oven for 20 minutes, remove it and spread the crumble over the top. Give it a quick spray of oil, and return it to the oven and cook for an additional 10 minutes - you may also want to grill it for a bit to get some colour. Allow the slice to cool completely before slicing - it's easiest to slice after being refrigerated for a couple of hours.