I've got my days of the weeks a little confounded here, and almost forgot this was Thursday... and yet, it is!
I've been practicing making strudels (A rolled pastry filled with sweet or savory filling that came to us from Austria and other European countries) using puff pastry. A purist would say that phyllo (fillo) dough is more authentic for strudel, and while that might be true, we like the puff pastry results better. The puff pastry holds together better while using less butter, and it's moister than Fillo dough....
I still use Fillo dough for baklava, but for strudels, I buy the Puff Pastry when it's on sale and keep a few boxes in the freezer. They thaw quickly and I can take a sheet of the dough (two sheets per pack) lay it out, thin it with a few swipes of the rolling pin and lay it on a buttered cookie sheet, ready to fill. Fillings can be store-bought (Poppy seed, lemon, fruit pie filling) but I like to make my own when time allows.
For Christmas I made the apple nut strudel I posted in September RECIPE HERE but I wanted to try a fruit filling, too. I had a bin of apples that needed some love so I grabbed two large Crispins, peeled and cored them, then diced them. I put them into a smallish saucepan, added 1/4 cup water, covered them and steamed them on medium heat until soft.
While they're steaming (it only takes a few minutes once they get hot) I mixed 1/4 cup flour with 3/4 cup sugar. Add in 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg. Mix dry ingredients together.
Stir into hot, softened apples.
Add 1 tablespoon butter.
If mix is too thick, add a splash of water (probably another 1/4 cup)
Turn down heat and stir gently. Mixture should form a thick apple pie filling, and it takes less than ten minutes to make it.
Spread a thick layer of filling over the middle third of your thinned puff pastry on the cookie sheet. Fold one side up and over. Repeat with second side. Score the top by making half a dozen diagonal slashes with sharp knife so steam escapes.
Brush with two tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. (Mix one tablespoon of sugar with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon to make cinnamon sugar).
Bake at 400° for about 15-20 minutes. Pastry is done when it puffs up, turns golden brown and appears "dry". Remove from oven and let sit, then drizzle with glaze below:
2 Tbsp. soft butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Add enough milk (not much!!!) to mix with whisk.... Drizzle over strudel.
And this is what they look like with drizzled glaze on a Christmas platter! Needless to say they were enjoyed by all!
Total prep time for this is about twenty minutes (and that made two strudels) including peeling and chopping apples and thinning the pastry dough by rolling it into a bigger rectangle.
I did notice the apple filling made the puff pastry "spread" a little more. The dryer nut filling kept a classic rectangle shape... but the apple pie filling spread into a more oblong shape. But it was filled with delicious apple-y goodness, so we didn't care!
And Mary and Joseph made it to the stable as hoped and planned! And she brought forth her first-born child and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them at the inn.... and you can see from the bits of yarn, our manger is soft and warm to welcome the baby! During Advent, kids get awarded a piece of yarn for going out of their way to do something nice and kind and good... The more yarn you see, the nicer the little ones have been! Their good deeds "warm" the manger for Jesus. :)
Wishing you the best possible New Year's weekend... I treat myself on New Year's to a quiet weekend of writing and hosting the Seekerville Rockin' It New Year's Eve party over on our Seekerville blog. The party starts at 6:00 AM on 12/31 and goes ALL DAY until midnight Pacific time!
Hourly prizes, fun conversations and giveaways, and virtual food, dancing and fireworks!!! :)
It's a great place to hang out if you don't have a hot date for New Year's!