Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Just Like Grammy's Apple Strudel

Using frozen Phyllo dough short cuts the preparation of this great dish.

2 tablespoons organic unsalted butter room temperature, plus ½ cup (1 stick) melted
½ cup fresh bread crumbs
4 to 5 medium apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
Juice of 1 medium lemon, about 3 tablespoons
Zest of 1 medium lemon, about 2 teaspoons
1 cup all natural granulated sugar, divided
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
1 package of frozen phyllo dough, thawed (you will need at least 18 sheets)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat. When melted, stir in the bread crumbs and cook until they just begin to turn brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Place the apple slices into a bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Stir in the lemon zest, ½ cup of the sugar, 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon, and the nutmeg.

Stir together the remaining sugar, cinnamon and salt. Set this aside.

Place a piece of parchment or waxed paper that is larger than a sheet of the phyllo dough onto your work surface. Carefully unroll the dough and place between 2 damp towels. This will keep the dough moist and prevent breakage.

Place 1 sheet of the phyllo dough onto the parchment paper. Carefully brush with melted butter. Sprinkle the dough with the sugar cinnamon mixture. Repeat this process with 5 more layers of phyllo dough.

Place 1/3 of the filling across the wide end of the pastry dough layers, leaving 2-inches on the sides and bottom. Roll the bottom edge over the filling. Fold in the sides. Continue rolling to form a log. Transfer the log, seam side down, onto a baking sheet that has been coated with vegetable oil spray. Repeat the process until you have 3 logs. Brush the tops with butter and a final sprinkling of sugar. Use a sharp knife to cut slits into the top of the pastry to allow the steam to escape.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the strudels are golden. Cool on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes. Use two spatulas to transfer the warm strudel to a serving platter and cut into 2-inch slices. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, or a scoop of ice cream. (My Grandmother served the strudel hot out of the oven in a bowl with cream poured over the top. Yumm!!)

Yield: about 8 slices per strudel
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 to 12 minutes

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