If the Mountain People wanted to create a Baklawa...

This is Baqlawa with a modern twist and the below is the inspiration behind this recipe:

I wanted to create a less sweet, with more nutritional value dessert that is also inspired from the traditional and classic cuisine, however, still make it look different and yet be one with a story. Not much to ask right?

The outcome was, this decadent, apple-sweetened, nutty and aromatic dessert with way less calories (than the original Baqlawa) and way more nutritional value. A very impressive dessert when plated, and one that told the story of mountain ingredients and sparked conversation whenever served. An all round pleasant food experience! I had also prepared and served this for the Food Styling & Photography Workshop I organise in Dubai and all the participant along with the SCAFA culinary school staff and students enjoyed it and loved how balanced the sweet is in this dessert. Which makes me know for sure that you will too.


  • Making your own applesauce completely improves the flavours. Also allows you to control the aromatics used. When making your own, reserve the water of the first boil. Then simmer that water to reduce and thicken then drizzle that water over the dessert as you would with Qater (sugar syrup). Not only is it a less sweet and way healthier substitute to sugar syrup, but that concentration of apple flavor is just heavenly! With that said, if you do not have the time to make it but still looking for reliable, healthy and clean organic apple sauce then buy it from me. Follow this link to order DS Applesauce.


Serves: 6

1 recipe or 1 large jar DS Applesauce

1 Packet Filo Pastry, cut into 3 cm wide rectangular strips

300g walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

1 tbsp DS Pure Walnut Butter

200g toasted almonds and roughly chopped (optional)

1 tbsp DS Pure Almond Butter

100g toasted pine nuts, roughly chopped (optional)

1 tbsp DS Pure Pine Nuts Butter

2 tbsp raw honey

2 tsp powdered cinnamon

¼ tsp ground cloves

¼ tsp ground cardamom

150g butter, melted

100g brown sugar

For Cubed Apple Garnish

3 apples, peeled, finely cubed and placed in acidulated water

1 tbsp mixed brown sugar and cinnamon powder

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp DS Pure Walnut Butter

1 spring worth of fresh thyme leaves

Ashta (Arabic clotted cream)

Whipped cream or vanilla ice-cream

If making your own, then start by making the applesauce. Once ready, set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and powdered cinnamon, set aside. Line the baking tray with parchment paper and brush lightly with butter. Brush the filo rectangles with melted butter then sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Stack a few brushed sheets together and place on the lined sheet. Bake in a hot oven until golden and crisp.

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl mix together the chopped toasted nuts and sprinkle with the ground spices and mix all to coat. Add the nut butters and honey then mix again making sure to coat all very well. set aside.

Make the cubed apple garnish

Drain the apples from the acidulated water, sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon mix and toss to coat. Heat the butters along with thyme leaves and shallow fry the apples with the butter mixture until golden.


To plate, pour 1 tbsp applesauce at the centre. Place one stack of the crisp filo rectangles, then top with the nut mixture, then with another stack of filo. Place 1 tsp of the cubed apple mixture on the side. Top the centre with a quenelle of ashta, whipped cream or vanilla ice-cream. Drizzle with concentrated apple water or honey.

Serve immediately.

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