About this recipe: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.
3 sheets filo pastry, 30 x 50 cm (12 x 20 in) each, about 90 g (3¼ oz) in total
30 g (1 oz) butter, melted
15 g (½ oz) flaked almonds
1 tbsp icing sugar, sifted
Greek-style yogurt to serve (optional)
30 g (1 oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
55 g (2 oz) ground almonds
45 g (1½ oz) soft light brown sugar
finely grated zest of 1 orange
675 g (1½ lb) fresh cherries, stoned and halved if large
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Method Prep:40min › Cook:20min › Ready in:1hr
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6). To make the filling, stir the breadcrumbs, almonds, brown sugar and orange zest together in a large bowl. Add the cherries and mix well.
Lay a sheet of filo pastry out on a clean tea-towel and brush very lightly with melted butter. Place a second sheet of filo on top and brush very lightly with butter. Place the third sheet of filo on top and brush again with butter.
Spoon the filling evenly over the stacked pastry, leaving a 2.5 cm (1 in) margin clear around the edges. Turn in the edges of the short sides.
With the help of the tea-towel, roll up from a long side to make a thick sausage shape. Transfer to a lightly greased, non-stick baking tray, curving the strudel slightly to fit, if necessary. The seam should be underneath. Brush with the remaining butter, then scatter over the flaked almonds.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry and almonds are golden brown. Dust with the icing sugar and serve hot or warm, with a little Greek-style yogurt, if liked.
Each serving provides
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.