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BAKLAVA WITH DRIED APRICOTS

A sweet twist on the traditional baklava, with a brandy bite.

Filling:
1 1/2 pounds dried apricots
1 cup brandy
1 cup water
1 1-pound box Athens/Apollo fillo pastry
3 sticks butter, melted
6 cups syrup
1 cup thick Krinos Greek yogurt (optional)


NOTE: Follow syrup preparation instructions on page 72.

Open the apricots into two halves (like a figure eight). Place in a medium bowl and pour in the brandy and water. Let the apricots steep for one hour, then drain.

Brush an 18” x 12” shallow baking pan with melted butter. Spread 8 sheets of fillo on bottom, brushing each with melted butter. Spread half the apricots evenly over the fillo. Top with 5-6 more sheets, brushing each with melted butter. Spread the remaining apricots over the fillo, and top with 7-8 more sheets, brushing each with butter. Score into rectangular or diamond shaped pieces and bake in a low oven (325ºF) for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until golden and crisp. 

Make syrup and let cool before pouring over pastry. Let stand for 2-3 hours and serve with a dollop of strained Greek yogurt on each piece.

Yield:  15-24 servings