East of Paris Bookstore

Friday, August 20, 2010

Cherry Strudel

One day I will pull my own dough.  Today is not that day.  Instead, I used store-bought filo dough and made three cherry strudels with walnuts and an apple strudel for Mr. Wonderful, who dislikes cherries.  This last was a sacrifice.  I am a poor apple peeler and wish I knew how to wield a paring knife as well as my grandmother, who could peel an apple in a continuous rotation leaving one long ribbon of skin.

The recipe is rather free-form since so much depends on personal taste:  your favorite apples, cherries, amount of walnuts, sugar and spices. Also, per the Julian calendar, we are still in the period of the Dormition Fast, so I used margarine instead of butter.  Here are the ingredients; no measurements are included!

One package filo dough, thawed
Sour cherries (pitted and drained)
Apples (cored, peeled, sliced)
Chopped walnuts
Sugar
Bread crumbs, unflavored
Cinnamon
Allspice
Butter or Margarine (1 stick, melted)

Use 3 to 4 leaves of thawed filo dough for each strudel.  Lay them out flat slightly overlapping so as to make a longer surface to roll up. Sprinkle some melted butter on each leaf.  Take a few handfuls of the drained cherries and spread them length-wise at one end of the filo. Sprinkle the fruit with about 1/4 cup of bread crumbs. Next sprinkle with the chopped walnuts.  Shake on cinnamon and allspice.  Next sprinkle on sugar, say a 1/4 cup.  Start rolling the strudel from the end with the fruit. About half way, fold over the sides a bit and then finish rolling.  Transfer the roll to a lightly greased baking sheet [I use "Pam" and spray it on the baking sheet.]  Bake in a pre-heated 350ºF oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Today I used two jars of Morello cherries in a light syrup that I drained for an hour. That produced three strudels.  Using two apples was enough for one strudel.  As for the walnuts, I think there was a cup and a half ... since I like them so much, more is better.

A confession: I forgot to put sugar on two of the cherry strudels, but when I tasted them, the tartness was refreshing and I did not miss any extra sweetness.


I also sprinkled on a bit of powdered sugar at the end ... after all, without powdered sugar it wouldn't be "East of Paris."

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