First time I have tried strudel at home. It was a frosty winter day, I was at home finishing a homework after school, when my mother came and told me she’d got a new dessert recipe! I was so excited, because it has been a habit in our family, almost every evening we had a tea with some freshly-baked pies, buns or danishes whether it were homemade or store-bought.. Easy to guess, it was a strudel recipe. At that time of the year we could make only apple-raisin filling; compare to today it was impossible to buy even frozen cherries, only if you hadn’t froze it by yourself last summer. So, we had some nice apples, which were picked from garden and kept in a cellar, raisins and walnuts; the recipe worked so good, the pastry turned thin and smooth.. and we liked the result – new, mysterious and so delicious strudel! :) Believe me or not, since then I’m using exactly the same pastry recipe and it works! :)
Cherry Strudel with nuts
- The pastry. Sift flour on to a clean surface, add salt, and make a well in the middle. Slightly beat an egg with water and butter, add the mixture into flour. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, time to time punch it down and throw until it becomes elastic and smooth. Wrap it in clingfilm and leave it at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven 200C/400F. Line the baking tray with baking paper, grease it with some melted butter or oil.
- The filling. In a cup or small bowl, put all washed raisins and cover with cognac; soak for 15 minutes, then pour out remaining cognac. Cut cherries into halves, you may keep some whole.
- The pastry. Dust a workspace with flour and roll out the pastry into rectangle as thinly as possible. You can place wet and floured tea-towel, and do it on it. When you can’t roll the pastry any more, begin stretching it using your hands – place back side of your hands under the pastry and stretch it. Keep on going until it is very thin or you can see pattern of the tea-towle through it.
- Brush the rolled dough with melted butter. Sprinkle with crushed almonds, leave en edge 3cm uncovered. If using breadcrumbs, brown them in some butter until golden-brown.
- Spread cherries, and sprinkle with sugar. Adjust amount of sugar, depending on your taste.
- Scatter raisins and remaining nuts on top.
- Fold uncovered edges in, then roll up the pastry into a sausage shape.
- Gently put the strudel on the baking tray, brush with melted butter. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the pastry is golden.
- Allow to cool slightly before serving, dust with icing sugar. Serve while it’s still warm with vanilla ice cream or sauce.