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
Bread crumbs, unflavored
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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