Sunday, October 9, 2011

Apple strudel

I was looking for a light dessert to serve with the meal just before the beginning of the fast for Yom Kippur, and it also had to be something fairly quick and easy to put together, as I had about 2-1/2 hours after I could leave work on Friday to make the main course and the dessert. The version I made combines two recipes--the filling from Jane Brody and the pastry and method from Moosewood. Most strudel recipes call for bread crumbs sprinkled on the dough, but the almond cookies included in the Moosewood recipe are a really nice touch. If you have any strudel left over, store it in the refrigerator. It is also delicious cold.

adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites and Jane Brody's Good Food Gourmet,
makes enough for 2 rolls, serves 8

2 lbs. apples, peeled, cored, and finely diced
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. finely chopped nuts (e.g., hazelnuts) (optional)
1/2 cup raisins
1 t. cinnamon
2 T. grated lemon rind (2-3 lemons)

6 T. butter, melted (or can use spray vegetable oil)
6 T. crushed almond cookies (e.g., amaretti, almonette, etc.) (approximate amount)
12 sheet filo [phyllo] dough (less than 1/2 of one package—in freezer section of grocery store)

Preheat the oven to 375.

To make the filling:
In a large bowl, combine all the filling ingredients. Set the bowl aside. (This will make somewhat more than you need for the two rolls of strudel. The leftover is nice to eat just on its own.)

To assemble the roll:
1. Lightly oil or spray a baking sheet, and have at hand the melted butter, crushed cookies, and a pastry brush or paintbrush. You'll want to work quickly in a draft-free place, as the filo becomes brittle once exposed to air.

2. Unfold the stack of filo sheets next to the baking sheet. Take two sheets at once from the stack, and, in one smooth motion, lift them and lay them flat on the baking sheet. Lightly brush the top sheet with the melted butter and sprinkle it with about 1 T. of cookie crumbs. Repeat this for two more layers, until six sheets of the filo and half the cookie crumbs are used. Cover the remaining filo sheets with a dish towel.

3. Spoon the filling onto the filo in a somewhat thick layer, leaving about 2" of the filo uncovered on all four sides. Fold the shorter bottom and top edges toward the center. Then, starting at one of the long sides, toll up the filo like a jelly roll, ending with the seam side down. Place the strudel on the baking tray and brush it with butter.

4. Repeat to make the second roll.

5. Bake for about 30 minutes until hot and golden

6. Cool for 5 minutes, cut each roll crosswise into four slices, and serve.

Also good served with ice cream.