Apple, Cranberry and Pecan Strudel
SERVES 8 SUPER EASY
Definitely the secret of a great strudel is to really pack it full of flavour!!! If care is taken in preparing each of the ingredients, these will be the best you’ve ever tasted. A handy alternative dessert in the festive season, with comforty tastes and textures that no one will want to resist.
580 g. apples ( 5 large Golden Delicious )
100 g. sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
100 g. fresh breadcrumbs, ( 5 slices white bread processed in food processor )
.50 g. ground almonds, toasted
50 g. butter, unsalted, melted
50 g. whole pecans, toasted, and roughly chopped
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
100 g. semi dried cranberries
8 – 10 sheets phyllo pastry ( about 2/3 of 400 g. box )
150 g. butter, unsalted, melted
Serve garnished with a dollop of crème fraicheor vanilla ice cream.
Preheat the oven to 180 ‘C.
Peel and core the apples. Chop them up quite small, and toss well in the lemon juice. Put in a medium sauce pan to cook over a medium low heat, along with the 100 g. sugar. Leave them to stew gently for about 15 minutes, until the apple pieces are soft and most of the liquid has evaporated off. Turn into a colander to ensure any excess liquids drain off. Leave to cool.
Spread the breadcrumbs and ground almonds in an even layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 50 g.melted butter. Place in the preheated oven for 5 – 1– minutes, shaking and redistributing them once or twice to ensure an even toasting. Remove from the oven when all the crumbs are toasted and yummy looking. Turn out in to a large bowl. Add the toasted chopped pecans. Add the lemon zest, and the semi dried cranberries, and finally the cooked apple to the bowl, and mix it all together. Taste for sweetness, more sugar can be added at this stage if needed.
To prepare the phyllo pastry, lay it out on the work surface between two sheets of greaseproof, with a damp, not wet, clean dishtowel over top. This helps prevent the pastry from drying out.
Take one sheet of phyllo at a time, and lay it in front of you. Brush one half with the melted butter, and then fold it in half. Repeat again, this time folding it so that it is now a quarter of the original size. Place this phyllo rectangle in front of you with the short end facing you.
Take approx. 3 – 4 Tbsp. of the strudel mixture and form a little log at the lower part of the rectangle. Gently, but firmly roll the log up, rolling away from yourself, and finish with the seam facing down. Tuck in the ends at both sides, or else the filling may leak out during baking. Place the parcel on a greased baking sheet, and brush the top and sides quite liberally with the melted butter.
Continue to make the rest of the strudels in the same manner. These may be kept in the refrigerator at this stage for 6 – 12 hours. To bake, place in a moderate oven for about 15 – 20 minutes, until golden brown, and crispy and flaky.
Place the strudel on a warmed plate and a dollop of crème fraiche or ice cream beside it. Garnish with a sprig of mint and a few of the semi dried cranberries sprinkled over and around the strudel. Dust with icing sugar, and serve.