Cherry Almond Baklava
Cherries are in full swing and I’m in heaven. With a three pound box of them hanging out around the apartment, they had to get used – quick. I’m not running the risk of any of them being wasted, so what better way to maximize the wonderousness (yup, it’s a word) of these yummies then to toss them into something baked and carby?
How’s Cherry Almond Baklava sound?
That’s exactly what I thought to. Okay, so.
To get these puppies started I halved and seeded a little over a pound of these beautiful cherries, setting them aside momentarily.
To make sure that they didn’t run and liquify all over the baklava when it was cooking, I poured them into a medium saucepan to make a concentrated jam out of them. That way they will maximize their flavor without all the ooze. This technique can be utilized when you’re doing other water-berried baking activities – like blueberry muffins.
While they are cooking away take a masher, mash them up into small pieces and let simmer for 20 minutes. Stir ’em occasionally. When half of the liquid has evaporated, stir in ¾ cup sugar. Continue to simmer another 10 minutes.
Take off heat and allow to cool. Easy peasy, huh?
Next, preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9×13-inch pan with a pastry or basting brush.
In a small bowl mix together chopped almonds and cinnamon. Set aside.
Here is where the fun begins. Phyllo is a bit challenging to work with since it’s so delicate and dries so quickly. To keep it from drying to fast, place a few watered down paper towels over it and voi la non-dried out, crackly phyllo.
Place 2 layers of dough in the pan, butter thoroughly. Repeat until you have 4 sheets layered.
Since I was working with a 13×9 inch pan instead of a traditional full sheet pan, I folded each sheet of phyllo in half, creating two layers out of one sheet.
After I had 4 layers of pyllo placed at the bottom of my pan with melted butter in between, I sprinkled about 1/4 cup of the ground almonds and cinnamon over the phyllo. Another sheet was added on top, and splattered with more lovely melty butter.
On the next layer, the phyllo was basted with more butter and a few dollops of the cooled cherry jam were added.
Repeat this process three times, alternating between layers of cherry and almonds until you reach the final top layer.
The top layer should consist of 4 sheets of phyllo, halved and butter added between every two layers.
Just before it goes into your preheated oven, take a sharp knife to the pan creating bars or diamond shapes.
After they are done smellin’ up your kitchen, take them out and allow them to cool in the pan.
But don’t forget the sweet honey laden sauce. Everything is better with sauce!
In a small saucepan, whisk together a simple syrup of 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water. When this simmers for 10 minutes, add 1/4 cup hone and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. After an additional 10 minutes of simmering, pour it over the entire pan and let it all soak in.
Revel in all of the syrupy, fruity beauty.
And I hear – they’re even better after sitting a day. Dang I can’t wait to chow one down!
This site contains affiliate links, if you make a purchase through them, we receive a small commission.
Ooh! I want!
P.s. I love the final picture of them….it's like looking at food porn!
I am SOOOO trying this recipe! This sounds like heaven and your pics look amazing as usual : )
K seriously Megan you need to open up a bakery girl! And in Houston too, so I can come to it everyday! You cook up some of THEE yummiest looking pastries that I am always drooling over! Gorgeous pictures too 🙂
Oh my gosh these look wonderful. I like the background on your blog, too!
My goodness! I can smell your kitchen! And it looks delicious!!!
Oh man, I wanna come visit.
This sounds and looks amazing!!!!!
I seriously need to get over my fear of phyllo. How on earth will I ever be able to make this delicious recipe if I don't? Thanks for sharing!
dear lord, these look and sound amazing. my mouth is watering
Great googlie mooglie! These sound (and look) fantastic! I'm on a real cherry bender lately, and that cherry/almond combination is one of my favorites. I need to get off my butt and make these.
I'm still on a major post-honeymoon Baklava kick (maybe I bought a box to bring home…just because) and when I saw that you posted it, I considered it to be A Sign.
The idea of making this gives me a really superb incentive to get the rest of my kitchen in order! If I didn't use cherries, what would you suggest instead?
Wow, what an incredible recipe!!! Makes me happy just thinking about it.
I have so been wondering what the heck to do with all of these delicious Michigan cherries aside from pies and crumbles. GREAT idea!!
These look delicious! I’m going to make some with sour cherries for Independence day!