Austria's famous melt-in-the-mouth pastry, here packed with juicy fresh cherries, looks very impressive, but is surprisingly easy to make. Ground almonds and breadcrumbs are added to the filling to absorb the fruit juices, so the layers of filo pastry bake wonderfully light and crisp.
E * C, copper
For a plum, rum and raisin strudel, soak 50 g (1¾ oz) raisins in 2 tbsp dark rum for 1 hour. Mix with 675 g (1½ lb) sliced ripe plums, 75 g (2½ oz) fresh white breadcrumbs, 30 g (1 oz) chopped walnuts, 45 g (1½ oz) soft light brown sugar and the finely grated zest of 1 small lemon. Spread this filling over the filo pastry, roll up and bake as in the main recipe. Dust the hot strudel with 2 tsp icing sugar sifted with ½ tsp ground cinnamon.
Cherries are used all over the world in many famous dishes as well as being a key ingredient in liqueurs such as Kirsch and Maraschino. Like other fruits they are rich in potassium and they also contain a small amount of iron. * Almonds are a good source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect against heart disease. * Butter contains useful amounts of the fat-soluble vitamins A and D. Vitamin A is needed for healthy skin and vision. Vitamin D is required for the absorption of calcium and therefore has a vital role in maintaining strong teeth and bones.
The strudel was so delicious that we had it all at one go. I used 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry instead of filo, simply rolled the filling up and sealed. The recipe says it's for 6 serves, but in my case it was 4 big ones, next time I will double the portions. - 14 Apr 2017