Baklava is a Turkish dessert that is layered with walnuts, pistachios, and sometimes almonds, in a flaky phyllo crust that’s doused in a honey syrup. Traditionally it’s made in a casserole style dish, and scored into triangles, but I thought why not create a pie with the same flavors prepared in a buttery crust? At Thanksgiving, pecan pie is usually somewhere on the dessert table, but this time around, I wanted to create a pie with some authentic ethic flair, that’s baked in a similar fashion to a traditional treat.
Making a caramel syrup, or base for the nuts to hold onto, is the first step in creating a baklava pie. A combination of butter, brown sugar, and honey boiled until it reaches 145 degrees, or dark and frothy, is a tasty start. Whisked room temperature eggs are then folded into the caramel filling, right before the toasted nuts are added. Cardamom is a warming spice that’s quite popular in the Middle East, and is the flavoring in many desserts from this part of the world. What makes it so special is that it accentuates the nut’s earthiness is a delicate way, as does the orange blossom water.
This baklava pie is assembled and baked in a moderate oven, until it begins to firm, and the crust goldens. The texture is similar to pecan pie, but the taste is completely all its own. Crunchy nuts coated in a honey orange syrup, and surrounded in a flaky crust make a truly special pie. The flavors are like baklava, yet it’s a simpler version to make, and a great dessert to serve on a special holiday.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoons salt
8 tablespoons cold butter, diced
1/2 cup ice water
6 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup honey, any variety
3 large room temperature eggs, whisked
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoon orange blossom water or 2 teaspoons orange zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 1/2 cups toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup toasted pistachios
- In a stand mixer or large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Add butter and mix on low until coarse crumbs. Add ice water, and mix until dough just begins to come together. Remove and form into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before rolling out.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, add butter, light brown sugar, corn syrup and honey. Place over high heat for 5 minutes, until frothy, or 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from heat and cool for 6 minutes.
- Roll out dough and place in a 9-inch pie plate, and fold edges inward and crimp. Place in freezer for 10 minutes.
- Add eggs, lemon juice, orange blossom water and cardamom to caramel mixture, stir until combined. Add nuts and stir.
- Remove crust from freezer and spoon filling into center. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until center is almost firm. Remove and let cool to room temperature before slicing. Can be made 1 day ahead. Enjoy!