Recipe: apple baklava

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Apple Baklava
Apples give a distinctive twist to this traditional Greek dessert. Sauteing them first to let the water evaporate ensures a crisp crust.

6 Golden Delicious apples
6 Granny Smith apples
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Nut Mixture
2 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
24 sheets phyllo dough
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons plain dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons honey

Apple Layer: Peel and slice apples. Melt butter in Dutch oven over high heat. Add apples, sugar and cinnamon; cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender and juices are evaporated, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool.

Nut Mixture: Combine all ingredients in small bowl.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Trim phyllo sheets to 13 x 9-inch rectangles; cover with plastic wrap. Brush a 13 x 9-inch metal baking pan with butter. Place 1 phyllo sheet in pan and brush with some of the melted butter (keep remaining phyllo covered). Layer 5 more phyllo sheets on top, brushing each with butter. Spread 2 cups nut mixture on top and repeat layering with 6 more phyllo sheets and butter. Spread apple mixture on top; repeat layering with 6 more phyllo sheets and butter. Sprinkle remaining nut mixture on top; sprinkle with bread crumbs and layer with the 6 remaining phyllo sheets and butter. With sharp knife, cut lengthwise through pastry and filling into 1 1/2 inch-wide strips, then cut diagonally at 2-inch intervals to make diamonds.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden. Drizzle honey on top and bake 5 minutes more. Cool in pan on wire rack.

Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped or ice cream.

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