This apple baklava is layer on layer of deliciousness. It’s so easy to make, with an apple walnut filling and crispy layers of golden phyllo dough.
This is like the most creative apple pie you’ll eat, and is so impressive! Baklava is a classic Middle Eastern dessert, very common where I’m from, but this is a great twist.
- Why make this apple baklava:
- What is baklava?
- Ingredients you need to make apple pie baklava:
- How to work with phyllo dough:
- How to make apple baklava:
- What to serve baklava with:
- Storing leftovers:
- ِExpert tips and tricks:
- Recipe FAQs:
- For more Middle Eastern inspired dessert recipes:
- Apple Baklava
Why make this apple baklava:
- It’s layers of crispy golden phyllo dough, soaked in a honey syrup with a thick layer of cinnamon apples and walnuts. You can probably tell just by reading this why you should make it!
- It’s an easier way of making baklava with only one layer of filling (instead of layers and layers of nuts).
- The honey syrup gives it a unique flavor that perfectly compliments the apples.
- This makes the perfect phyllo apple dessert. It’s delicious warm, and also at room temperature.
- I like that this is made in an 8×8 inch pan, so you don’t have a bunch of leftovers since I do think this is best fresh.
What is baklava?
Baklava is typically a layered dessert, made with phyllo (filo) dough, which is a very thin unleavened dough, layered with a nut filling (usually almonds, pistachios, or walnuts).
It’s usually soaked in a simple sugar syrup which is the primary method for sweetening this dessert. It’s so decadent, a showstopper, and very common in Greece, Turkey and the Middle East.
Ingredients you need to make apple pie baklava:
Phyllo dough: you’ll find this in the freezer section of your grocery store. It may also be referred to as filo. Phyllo usually comes frozen, and you need to thaw it before using in the recipe.
In warmer areas, like where I’m from in the Middle East, this can take just an hour or two on the counter at room temperature. It may take you longer. You can also thaw overnight in the fridge.
Melted butter: essential to brush the layers of phyllo thoroughly with- it’s what makes it so golden brown and crispy.
Walnuts: You can optionally lightly toast the walnuts for 5-7 minutes in the preheated oven, it really helps bring out their flavor. Otherwise just use raw walnuts!
Cinnamon: A classic pairing to both walnuts and apples
Honey: This helps moisten the walnut filling, and we also use extra honey in the sugar syrup to enhance the flavor.
Apples: I’d go with firm, crisp and sweet red apples. Make sure you slice them thinly, so that they cook through and soften in the oven.
How to work with phyllo dough:
- Thaw the phyllo dough: Follow instructions on the package, but I’ve had success thawing at room temperature for a few hours, or overnight in the fridge.
- Be ready before you start: Make sure you have a damp kitchen towel ready. Any phyllo dough that isn’t being used has to be covered with this damp towel in order to keep it from drying out. Phyllo dough dries out very quickly!
- Be gentle: Phyllo dough is very delicate and can tear easily, but you can always patch up any tears with the overlapping layers.
- Cutting the dough: Use sharp kitchen scissors to cut the dough into sheets the size of your pan. Alternately, you can use a cutting board and knife, but I find scissors much easier!
- Be generous with the melted butter: Use a pastry brush, and apply an even coat thoroughly between each layer. This will give you that classic, puffy golden brown crisp bite.
How to make apple baklava:
- Make the syrup first: Combine the sugar, water, honey, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat watch carefully so it doesn’t boil over, reduce the temperature and simmer, for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool until it’s time to use it in the recipe.
- Preheat the oven, then make the filling In a food processor, pulse the walnuts until they form fine crumbs.
- Transfer to a bowl and mix with honey and cinnamon until evenly combined.
- Cut the phyllo sheets to the same size as an 8×8 inch pan. Lightly grease the base of the 8×8 inch pan with melted butter, then add one phyllo sheet at a time, brushing each with melted butter before adding the next sheet.
- Keep going until you have 12 phyllo sheets stacked on the base of the pan. Add all the walnut filling, and spread it out evenly. Top with the thinly sliced apples.
- Add another sheet of phyllo dough on top, brush with melted butter and repeat this process with another 12 sheets of dough, buttering each.
- Use a sharp knife to cut diagonal into the baklava, and pour any remaining melted butter over the top.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 325F (160C), and bake another 35-40 minutes until golden brown all over.
- Remove from the oven and pour the syrup evenly all over the hot baklava. Let sit until cooled and syrup is absorbed, at least an hour. Enjoy!
Watch the recipe video in the recipe card to see this demonstrated!
What to serve baklava with:
I find it perfect as is! But to make this even more over the top, you can serve it with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream.
I love this best fresh, but leftovers will last 2-3 days. Store at cool room temperature in an airtight container, unless you live in a warm environment. In that case, store leftovers in the fridge (I do this, it’s hot and humid where I live).
To freeze the baklava, wrap either the entire pan of baklava tightly, or freeze individual slices. It can be frozen for up to 3 months.
ِExpert tips and tricks:
- Choose firm sweet apples, like Honeycrisp, Fuji, or Gala. If you want more of a tart flavor, you can use Granny Smith apples.
- Slice the apples thinly and try to make sure they are even sizes, so they cook through in the oven.
- Keep unused phyllo pastry covered with a damp kitchen towel to avoid it drying out. Just uncover the sheet you are actively working with.
- Brush the layers of phyllo dough with a pastry brush, and coat the sheets generously.
- Score the baklava well before baking so that the syrup gets absorbed all the way through, and so it’s easier to serve individual pieces.
I used red, crisp apples. You can also use Granny Smith for more of a sweet and sour thing.
Absolutely! Feel free to double, and bake in a 13×9 inch pan.
You can use pecans or almonds instead of walnuts.
You can absolutely make it in advance, and it’ll last 5-7 days tightly covered in the fridge.
For more Middle Eastern inspired dessert recipes:
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟rating in the recipe card and a comment!
For the syrup:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup honey
- squeeze lemon juice
For the baklava:
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 pack phyllo pastry 15 oz or 400g
- 1 1/2 cups walnuts 200g
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 tablespoon honey 60g
- 2 apples, peeled and thinly sliced 200g
To make the syrup:
- In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water, honey, and lemon juice.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat (watch carefully so it doesn’t boil over), reduce the temperature to low, and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
- Set aside to cool until it's time to use it in the recipe. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
Make the filling:
- In a food processor, pulse the walnuts until it forms fine crumbs, then transfer to a bowl and mix with honey and cinnamon until evenly combined.
- Cut the phyllo sheets to the same size as an 8×8 inch pan. Lightly grease the base of the 8×8 inch pan with melted butter, then add one phyllo sheet at a time, brushing each with melted butter before adding the next sheet. Keep the phyllo dough you aren't working with covered with a damp towel or it'll quickly start to dry out and crumble.
- Keep going until you have 12 phyllo sheets stacked on the base of the pan. Add all the walnut filling, and spread it out evenly. Top with the thinly sliced apples
- Add all the walnut filling, and spread it out evenly. Top with the thinly sliced apples.
- Add another sheet of filo dough on top, brush with melted butter and repeat this process with another 12 sheets of filo dough, buttering each.
- Use a sharp knife to cut diagonals into the baklava, and pour any remaining melted butter over the top.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 160C, and bake another 35-40 minutes until golden brown all over.
- Remove from the oven and pour the syrup evenly all over the hot baklava. Let the pan sit until cooled and syrup is absorbed, at least an hour. Enjoy!