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If you, like me, have avoided Phyllo Pastry like the plague, I am here to tell you...avoid no longer! I have had a box of the PC phyllo pastry sitting in my freezer for some time now. Opportunity presented itself this week, when some baking was needed for a family get together. Who knows how long this box would have sat in our freezer, had I not gathered the gumption to attempt to bake with it.
I can tell you in all honesty, the apple strudel I prepared using the instructions on the box, was a huge success! Three strudels are now notched on my belt, with the latest just assembled moments ago, and baking in the oven as I type this entry. The basic recipe (veganized) is as follows, with the addition of some raisins and fresh cranberries (1/8 to 1/4 cup each), for colour and just because I love anything with raisins!
6 Tbsp vegan margarine, 1/3 cup chopped pecans, 1/4 cup plain dry breadcrumbs, 2 apples, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 5 sheets of phyllo pastry, 1 tbsp granulated sugar.
1. Preheat oven to 375 Fahrenheit.
2. In small frying pan, melt 1 tbsp margarine over medium heat; cook pecans and bread crumbs, stirring frequently for 3 minutes. Set aside.
3. Peel, quarter (or chop finely) apples. Combine in bowl with lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and the pecan and bread crumb mixture.
4. Melt remaining margarine. Place sheet of phyllo on your preparation surface (I used a long sheet of waxed paper); with pastry brush apply some melted margarine. Lay second sheet on top and brush on more melted margarine. Proceed until all sheets are layered and greased.
5. Stand facing the long side of the phyllo, place the entire apple mixture on the edge closest to you (leave about 2 inches on either end clear).
6. Gently, as if rolling sushi, start rolling and compressing the apple mixture all the way across. (The wax paper helps as you can use it to guide the roll and compress the filling without handling the phyllo too much with your hands.)
7. Roll the whole ensemble, back towards you so it is in the middle of your wax paper - then gently lift, using the wax paper as a hammock and transfer over to your cooking sheet. (Leave the wax paper on your baking sheet OR use parchment paper. The wax paper will smoke a bit in your oven but not burn.)
8. If you have a little margarine left, or you can also use spray cooking oil, moisten the top surface of the strudel and sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of sugar on top. Cut vents every 2 inches along the length of the strudel.
9. Bake, covered loosely with foil, for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes.
10. Serve warm with sauce or ice cream. (I read on some website that Europeans would never eat strudel cold; always warm and with a sauce!)
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
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