Light Baklava

Serves 4

Ingredients: 

1 teaspoon of olive oil + some for brushing

4 sheets thin filo pastry (1 per person)

1½ tablespoon icing sugar 

1 red apple, peeled, cored and finely diced

½ cup/90g raisins

½ cup/90g dried apricots, finely chopped 

¼ cup/45g cranberries

1 cinnamon stick

3 pelargonium leaves (scented geranium leaves), 2 are for cooking, one is for decoration (a lemon leaf will substitute well)

2 tablespoons orange juice + the zest of the orange

1 tablespoon lemon juice + the zest of the lemon

1 tablespoon honey.

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180ºC. (350ºF, gas mark 4)

2. On your work surface, place a sheet of baking paper, lay one sheet of filo on it and brush half of it with olive oil, then sprinkle a little icing sugar over the olive oil. 

3. Fold this oiled half over onto the dry half.

4. Oil half of the upper side, sprinkle with sugar and fold again as before.

Cut about 1cm off the two folded edges, then cut what’s left into 3 equal rectangles approximately 12 x 6 cm, giving you three sheets of 4-ply filo. (This is for one serving – repeat the process for more).

5. Place the filo pieces onto a baking dish lined with baking paper, then place another sheet of baking paper on top of the pastries, topping with another tray to keep flat. 

6. Put filo pieces in the oven for 6 minutes at 180ºC, (350ºF, gas mark 4)

7. On a high heat, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to a pan. The high heat is to ensure that all the juices of the fruit are retained. 

8. Add the apple to the hot pan, stirring frequently, until just golden. The apple still needs to be crunchy. 

9. Add 1 tablespoon of white sugar to the pan, and continue to stir. 

10. Add the cinnamon stick, lemon and orange juice to the apple and stir. 

11. Add dried fruits to the pan and toss over high heat to heat through. 

12. Add the zest of the orange & lemon to the fruit. 

13. Add 1 tablespoon honey, stir through and add a little more juice if necessary. 

14. Add the pelargonium leaves (or your lemon leaf) and stir through the hot mixture to infuse.

15. Remove the leaves before serving

16. To assemble, place one piece of filo on the plate, then top with about 2 tablespoons of the fruit mixture.

17. Repeat once more, finishing with a filo sheet on the top.

18. To finish, drizzle with honey, top with a dusting of a little cinnamon and icing sugar and top with a fresh pelargonium leaf (or a sprig of redcurrants or any small berry).

"This is a really light variation on traditional Baklava, and gives it a beautifully festive look."