Apple, Nut & Cardamom Baklava Roses with Honey Saffron Syrup ~ A winning recipe for Bicolored Apples from Europe

(Last Updated On: 17th February 2019)

This recipe wins the First Prize in FoodeMag dxb Readers’ Competition in collaboration with Bicolored Apples From Europe

This amazing competition was courtesy of Bicolored Apples from Europe, and our participants had to submit recipes that have been tried and tested by them along with a photo of the recipe. They also shared with us a bit about the recipe as we love to hear what inspired the dish. While we are publishing only the 6 winning recipes here, what we loved about all the recipes submitted was that, they not only seemed tempting but were also easy and practical to make at home.

Roya Tarzaban with her gorgeous recipe of Apple, Nut & Cardamon Baklava Roses with Honey Saffron Syrup, is our First Prize winner. She wins a one night stay for two persons in a Luxury City View Room in Taj Dubai, inclusive of breakfast, a private cooking class followed by dinner inclusive of soft drinks at their signature restaurant Bombay Brasserie (the prize doesn’t include lunches); Roya Tarzaban (again) with her Seared Ahi Tuna with Apple & Mango Salsa recipe wins the Second Prize with a space saver power blender with the functionality of a regular blender but easier to store; and Khushbu Gandhi with her Green Apple & Kiwi Sauce, wins the Third Prize with a dessert maker that makes delicious, healthy, frozen desserts in minutes!

The three runners up are Jnalyn Manabat with her Apple Rose Pie; Lama Gharaibeh with her Apple Walnut Baklava and Khushbu Gandhi (again) with her Quinoa Apple Rice Pudding. You will find all these delicious recipes in our website – all of the recipes had been judged according to the criterions: Use of Apples, Appearance of the Dish, Story behind the recipe, Complexity to make and whether it is Tempting to make.

Roya Tarzaban's Apple, Nut & Cardamon Baklava Roses with Honey Saffron Syrup ~ A winning recipe from Bicolored Apples from Europe

Apple, Nut & Cardamom Baklava Roses with Honey Saffron Syrup

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Prep Time: 30-45 min (with defrost time)
Cooking Time: 45 min
Serves: 12


For Apple Filling

  • 4 apples (2 bicolored, 2 green)
  • 10 dried apricots, soaked in hot water
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • ½ cup whole almonds
  • ½ cup slivered pistachios
  • 2 tsp cardamom powder
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 9 sheets of phyllo pastry
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 2 tbs powdered sugar

For Honey Saffron Syrup

  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ¾ cup honey
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water
  • ½ lemon, juiced


  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC, and butter your pie or cake pan.
  • Defrost the phyllo pastry and roll out gently. Remove 9 sheets onto a cutting board, slice them in half width-wise, then half again. You should have 4 long stacks of phyllo. Cover with a damp towel to keep it from drying, and refrigerate the remaining phyllo to use in another dish.
  • In a food processor, add the walnuts and almonds and pulse until they’re small in size. Pour into a bowl and mix in the cardamom powder, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt.
  • Once the apricots soften, drain, add 2 tbs fresh water and blend into a paste. Cover and set aside.
  • Core the apples and using a mandolin on the thinnest setting (1.5mm thickness), slice each apple, discarding the bottom and top slices. Take each stack, and slice in half to get half-moon slices.
  • Place the apple slices in a bowl, pour the lemon juice, add 1 tsp butter and mix it gently. Cover with bowl with cling film and microwave the apples for 2 minutes, in 30 second increments until they are softened and pliable. Set aside to cool.
  • Working in batches, layer three sheets of phyllo pastry on top of one another, brushing each layer with the melted butter.
  • Brush some apricot paste onto the phyllo stack, and place the apple slices on the top halves, slightly overlapping. Alternate between the red and green apples for a nicer appearance.
  • Sprinkle 1-2 tbs of the nut mixture on the lower half of the phyllo, and fold the bottom half over the apple slices with the rounded edges of slices exposed.
  • Starting from the left end, gently roll the phyllo to form a rose shape, and place into the pie dish. Repeat this process three times to form 12 apple roses.
  • Cover the apple roses with foil and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 15 minutes until golden and crisp. Keep an eye on the last 5 minutes so the edges of apples don’t burn.
  • In a saucepan, place the water, honey, cardamom and saffron and bring to a simmer. Reduce the syrup in half, then add a squeeze of lemon juice and orange blossom water.
  • Once the baklava is ready, pour the syrup over it. Set aside to cool, then lightly dust with powdered sugar and serve with your favourite tea!

To Serve

European coloured apples were given a Middle-Eastern/Persian touch in this baklava inspired dessert – transforming apples and phyllo pastry into lovely rose-shaped deliciousness with exotic flavours of cardamom, saffron, apricots and orange blossom water.

Roya says: “A nice balance of sweet and tart, it makes for a unique presentation suitable at any festive table, as it did in my Iftar table this Ramadan!”

Note: For a 9 inch pie-dish/casserole, this recipe makes 12 individual baklava roses. For a larger batch of baklava roses, you may double the ingredients mentioned in the recipe.

Roya Tarzaban is the author of Roya’s Culinary Journey, a space where she writes, savours, photographs, and shares her passion for cooking, eating, and discovering deliciousness around the world. She loves getting creative in the kitchen, always using fresh whole food, fruits and vegetables. Although classically trained in gorgeous French cuisine, Roya is also certified in health-supportive and plant-based cooking, and strive for dairy-free and gluten-free cooking as much as possible.

[All recipes and images for FoodeMag dxb Readers’ Competition in collaboration with Bicolored Apples from Europe are exclusive to us and submitted by the participants. We have also tried Bicolored Apples from Europe at our FoodeMag dxb kitchen]

Bicolored Apples from Europe

Bicolored Apples from Europe – What makes them so special?

  • Unique taste and Aroma: European apples are grown far away from big cities, breathing clean air and basking in warm sunshine. They have earned global recognition for their unique taste and aroma.
  • Grown in an ideal Climate: Grown in Europe, Bicolored apples are subject to distinct wet and dry seasons with hot and dry conditions. The warm sunny days and cool night temperatures tend to make the apples sweeter. Bicolored Apples have a sweet and sour taste due to the climate and conditions at cultivation.
  • From Field to Table: Bicolored Apples are manually harvested and only harvested when the conditions are right and they are at the right stage of ‘ripeness’. The apples come from verified, registered and identifiable orchards meaning that we can trace the route back to each Orchard. From the Orchard through to the supermarket, we have implemented rigorous procedures to ensure the quality of our Apples.
  • Heritage: Bicolored Apples owe their strength to the European soil which has been nurtured over the generations, and ends in a well-managed production process.
  • Quality Control: Bicolored apples are produced under strict European Food Safety systems
  • People with Passion: It’s not just about processes and standards, it’s important to remember that the success of the apples are also down to the people who manage the Orchards from where they are grown – people with real passion.


Different types of apples have unique taste profiles, how do you know which to buy? For instance, if you’re planning on baking an apple pie you will need a firm apple with some tartness and lots of flavour. If you prefer to eat your apple raw then there are different choices too. Here’s a bit more about the different taste profiles of the apples which might help you make the best choice and to help you identify them when you are shopping.

  • Gala: Creamy, firm and juicy flesh with a sweet flavour and very pleasant aroma
  • Red Jona Prince: Creamy, hard and very firm flesh, with a sweet-sour taste, very aromatic
  • Gold Delicious: Creamy yellow, juicy flesh and aromatic with very good taste
  • Idared: Creamy, firm flesh and juicy taste
  • Champion: Greenish-white flesh with creamy tinge, juicy, aromatic and very tasty
  • Ligol: Creamy flesh, Crunchy, Juicy, Sweet and sour, aromatic, tasteful
  • Jonagored: Yellowish, hard, juicy flesh, aromatic, sweet-and-acidulous, tasteful
  • Najdared: White, hard, tight and juicy flesh, tasteful
  • Gloster: White and green flesh, juicy, aromatic, refreshing, tasteful

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    Apple, Nut & Cardamom Baklava Roses with Honey Saffron Syrup ~ A winning recipe for Bicolored Apples from Europe

    by Foodemag time to read: 6 min