Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Easy Peasy Apple Strudel

It is strange for me to tell you a dirty little secret - I have never worked with phyllo until today.  EGADS!  I KNOW, with all the baking I like to do you'd think I would have tried it before now.  Let's analyze for a moment - was I afraid of this ever so patience needing pastry?  Did it just seem to good to be true?  Could I believe that people would think I bought my creations?
2 out of 3 of these are correct.  I had always heard that you had to have patience and be very careful with phyllo or it could rip or dry out and look terrible so I steered clear of it.  I thought it was a pain staking ordeal that I just really didn't need to deal with - we have bakeries, I can just stop in there if I needed something fancy looking.

Oh my friends, it isn't as bad as you'd think!  It does take some time as you are creating layers of puffy goodness but its not like you are building a house of cards and one sneeze could blow your hard work away.
This dessert only took maybe 15 minutes?
Again, I had apples left over so that is what was used but I think pears, peaches, plums all would be a great substitute!

Quick n Dirty Apple Strudel

5 sheets thawed phyllo sheets
2 tbsp. melted butter for brushing + 1 tbsp. melted for bread crumbs
1/4 c. bread crumbs
4 apples sliced thick
1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. white sugar + extra for garnish
1 tbsp. flour

Start with the apples so that you have your full attention left over for the phyllo.
Peel, core and slice apples and place in a bowl, sprinkle the lemon juice over top and mix around (this will stop the apples from turning brown).  Place 1 tbsp. butter in a pan and melt, toss in the bread crumbs and coat.  Cook 2-3 minutes until toasty brown.
In your bowl with the apples, throw in the crumbs, cinnamon, salt, flour and sugar and mix together to ensure the apples are fully covered with the ingredients.  Set aside.

Remove 5 sheets of dough from the package.  Place on a piece of parchment paper and cover with a damp towel as you work.
On another piece of parchment take 1 sheet and brush the entire surface with melted butter.  Sprinkle a little sugar over top and place another sheet over top.  Repeat these steps until the final sheet.
Take your apples and on the long end spread them out at one end. (the one closest to you makes the most sense)  Start rolling to encase your apples in a log.  Place on a baking sheet, brush with the remaining butter and sprinkle with sugar.  Cut slits of about 1-2 cm long every 3-4 inches to allow steam to escape.
Bake in a preheated oven at 425 for approx. 15 minutes or until golden brown.
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