For my variation on the classic phaklava pastry from Georgia, I used hazelnuts and dried apricots instead of walnuts. These are two ingredients that are also widely used in Georgian cuisine. They make the phaklava apricot pastry lighter and fruitier than the classic pastry with walnuts on which this recipe is based. I also like to knead some lemon zest into the dough for an extra zingy touch. But just like the version with the walnuts, it is a rich treat and a small piece of this phaklava apricot pastry goes a long way.
Phaklava apricot pastry
For 12-16 pieces
160 g (⅔ cup) unsalted butter
80 g (scant ½ cup) sugar
100 ml (½ cup) sour cream
3 egg yolks + 1 extra for the top
300 g (2½ cups) flour
zest of ½ (organic) lemon
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3 egg whites
200 g hazelnuts (1¾ cups) + 12 to decorate
125 g (⅔ cup) soft dried apricots
200 g (1 cup) sugar
also needed: spring form 22 cm ø, greased and bottom lined with baking paper
Melt the butter and allow to cool slightly.
In a large bowl mix the butter with the sugar, the sour cream, 3 egg yolks, the flour, lemon zest and a pinch of salt.
Leave to cool and firm up in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop the hazelnuts coarsely and roast them in a dry pan until they turn golden brown.
Chop the apricots coarsely.
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F.
Whisk the egg whites in a clean, grease free bowl with grease free beaters until foamy. Spoon in the sugar bit by bit and beat into soft peaks.
Stir in the chopped hazelnuts and apricots.
Divide the dough into two pieces. Make sure that 1 piece is about 50 g heavier than the other piece. Roll out the small piece into a 22 cm circle and lay on the bottom of the tin.
Spoon in the filling and level out with a spatula. Roll out the second piece of dough into a slightly larger circle and place on the filling. Tuck in the edges.
Brush the top with most of the extra egg yolk. Score the dough to make wedges. Decorate each wedge with a hazelnut. Brush the hazelnuts with the remaining egg yolk.
Bake in the middle of the oven for ± 35 min. until done and golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes in the tin. Remove from the tin and let cool completely on a rack.
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