I've given out this recipe so many times, I figure it's time to give it a permanent online home where people can find it. The story behind it is that my husband loves real maple syrup with a pure and undying passion. A few years back, we started a search for the world's most perfect maple dessert. Baked goods- cookies and the like- tend to overwhelm the maple, which is a delicate flavor. Maple frosting is pretty tasty (goes well on spice cake). Maple flan is excellent. But we kept looking. Then one of my coworkers gave me her recipe for baklava, and an inspiration was born. I revamped the recipe to swap out the usual honey for maple syrup (maple typically has more water, so I had to recalculate the proportions to keep the sugar content constant), and substituted cashews for the nuts- both for their mild flavor and because of a family member who is allergic to the more usual types of nuts. The result- was outstanding. The recipe has since traveled far and wide, and I occasionally meet someone for the first time who says, "Maple baklava? Oh, you're that Robin!".
I wish now I'd thought to take a picture of the baklava last week- but let's face it, it didn't last all that long!
Robin's Maple Baklava
1 lb filo dough
1 lb butter (or margarine), melted
1 lb cashews, crushed
Cut filo dough to fit 9 x 13 greased cake pan. Place one sheet of filo dough in the pan and brush with melted butter, repeat this process until 3-5 sheets line the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle nuts thinly over the sheet. Add another sheet, brush with melted butter. Continue alternating 3-5 layers of butter sheets with nuts until only 3 sheets remain. Sprinkle remaining nuts, and continue placing and buttering last 3 sheets until all are used.
Cut in diamond shaped pieces. Bake in 300 degree oven for 45 minutes, then raise the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 15 more minutes. Pour syrup over baklava.
2 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. water
1 1/4 c. maple syrup
1 tsp lemon juice (or 1 slice lemon)
Combine ingredients in saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour syrup over hot baklava.