SALTED CARAMEL PEAR & WALNUT BAKLAVA
Baklava would have to be one of our favourite desserts and this is a wonderful variation of the traditional classic.
Seasonal corella pears mixed with walnuts and spices, all encased in a golden crunchy fillo pastry and smothered in a salted caramel sauce.
Hello Autumn, we’re glad you are here!
8 Corella pears, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
500g caster sugar
½ cup water
300ml thickened cream
1 teaspoon salt
500g walnuts, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
375g Fillo Pastry, at room temperature
200g unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Place pear, lemon juice and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. The pears will release a lot of liquid. Transfer the pears to a fine sieve and drain for at least 10 minutes so that most of the liquid drains.
To make the caramel, place the sugar and water in a large frypan and stir to combine. Place frypan over medium heat and allow to simmer and cook for 10-12 minutes or until golden in colour. Be sure not to stir the mixture during that time (as tempting as it may be).
Add the cream and salt to the pan. The mixture might crystallise and will froth up at the same time, this is normal (don’t be alarmed!). Using a whisk, gently stir the mixture until smooth. Allow it to cook on low heat for a further minute. (If you do find that the caramel has crystallised in sections, simply run it through a fine sieve to remove any clumps of sugar after you have removed it from the heat).
Place walnuts, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the drained pears and ¾ cup of the caramel mixture and stir to combine.
Grease a 30cm x 23cm (or slightly larger) baking dish with butter.
Place one sheet of fillo pastry on a clean workbench, with the long edge of the pastry facing you. Lightly brush with butter and place another sheet of fillo pastry on top. Place 1/3 cup of the pear filling approximately 3-4 cm from the bottom edge of the pastry and spread it into a 23cm long log (or however long the width of your baking dish is). Fold the long side of the pastry over the filling once, followed by the left side of the pastry and then the right side of the pastry. Continue to roll the long side until you have a log. Place the log into the baking dish. Continue with remaining fillo pastry and filling.
Using a sharp knife, cut the logs into thirds. Brush liberally with butter and bake for 45-55 minutes or until golden brown. Brush the cooled caramel sauce liberally over the hot baklava. Sprinkle the top with some extra salt. We enjoy eating this warm (who wants to wait!!!) but it just as good at room temperature or even a few days later out of the fridge.