I have always loved Baklava, but thought it would be hard to make. One day while trying to decide what to bake, I found an easy Baklava recipe (http://allrecipes.com/recipe/easy-baklava/)…but I was craving something peachy that day. Then the light came on…why not add peaches to Baklava. I am not a big fan of mixed nuts and peaches, so I just used the pecans. I hope you try and love this as much as we did.
This seems very long, but I have added a few notes in and the whole assembly time was less than a half an hour and was extremely easy.
1 pkg Phyllo dough sheets
1 lrg can and 1 small can of peaches,
1 12 oz bag of pecans
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract (optional)
1/4-1/2 c honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350. Brush the bottom of a 13×8.5 casserole dish with butter (I used Blue Bonnet). Prepare filling by draining and reserving the peach syrup…you will use this again at the end. Chop peaches into small pieces. Finely chop nuts. Put in a bowl and mix in white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and almond extracts. Mix well. Unroll Phyllo dough and cut the entire stack in half width wise (so you end up with two stacks of 13×8.5…they will fit perfectly into the bottom of the casserole dish). Every recipe I have ever read in regard to Phyllo says to cover it with a wet cloth so it does not dry out; however I have found that it tends to make the sheets stick together, so I just cover mine with a dry cloth so they don’t dry out as fast. Melt about half a cup of butter. Start assembling by placing 6 sheets of Phyllo (one at a time, brushing each with butter) in the bottom of the casserole dish. Next put about 1/2 c of the filling on top of the Phyllo…spread around (it obviously is just going to scantly cover the dough). Layer two more sheets of Phyllo (again, one at a time, brushing each with butter). And filling…2 sheets of Phyllo…filling…get the picture. Do this until you are out of filling (I think we did a total of 5 or 6 layers). For the top layer, you want to do another 6 sheets of Phyllo (one at a time, brushing each with butter). You can sprinkle some white sugar over the top for a little added sweetness, if you want. VERY CAREFULLY, use a sharp knife to cut the assembled piece before baking. Cut into 4 rows lengthwise and the diagonally eight times to yield 32 diamond pieces.
Bake for 55 minutes (be sure to check it after 30 minute to make sure it is not browning too quickly; if it is, cover with foil). While the Baklava is baking make the syrup for pouring over the top. The syrup is made using the reserved peach juices, honey, and vanilla extract. Bring all items to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes. When the Baklava is done baking, recut where you had previously cut prior to baking (this is VERY important because you want the syrup to get down inside). You can sprinkle a little brown sugar, for a little added sweetness, over the top prior to the next step.Ladle syrup over Baklava covering completely…NOTE: you probably will not use all of the syrup…but as the Baklava soaks it up, you can add more if you want. Allow to sit, uncovered (Ted has a huge issue with leaving things on the counter uncovered so as soon as the oven cooled down, I threw it back in there), for at least 5 hours to soak up all of the juices.
Now, comes the fun part…ENJOY!!! I think this would be great served a little bit warm with vanilla ice cream or with whipped cream. I am going to do it with whipped cream tonight.