The Strudel is a pastry with a sweet or savory filling rolled up in a very thinly stretched dough. The history of the 'Strudel' dates back hundreds of years. It was made as an easy yet satisfying meal by the poor. However, it was the Turkish Baklava pastry, introduced into Austria in 1453, that laid the foundation for the Strudel. The name "Strudel" means 'Whirlpool' since the dough is rolled and the center of the pastry resembles a whirlpool.
This dessert is a luscious mixture of cherries and cream cheese encased in golden flaky filo pastry.
- 500 gr frozen or jarred sour cherries
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
- 1/4 cup caster sugar
- 250g cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup pure icing sugar, plus extra to serve
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup flaked almonds
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 8 sheets fillo pastry
- 90 g butter, melted
- 1/4 cup cherry juice
- 1 tbsp orange rind
Drain sour cherries and reserve the juices, then set aside. In a small bowl place cornflour and blend with 1 tablespoon of reserved cherry liquid.
Combine caster sugar and 1/4 cup reserved cherry liquid in a medium saucepan. Stir over a medium heat until sugar dissolves, stir gently over medium heat until simmering. Add drained cherries and cornflour mixture to saucepan; Simmer, stirring, for 1 minute or until very thick. Spread onto a plate and set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a large oven tray with non-stick baking paper. Place cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add egg yolk and continue beating until just combined.
Combine brown sugar, breadcrumbs and cinnamon in a small bowl. Layer pastry sheets, brushing melted butter in between each layer and sprinkling 2 tablespoons breadcrumb mixture between every second layer. Brush the top layer with butter.
Spoon the cream cheese mixture along one long end of the fillo stack, leaving a 5cm border on 3 sides. Spoon cherry mixture over cream cheese filling. Combine remaining breadcrumb mixture with almonds; sprinkle over filling. Fold in sides, then carefully roll into a log shape. Lift onto prepared tray, seam side down. Brush with remaining butter.
Bake at 200°C for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 180°C; Bake for 10 minutes longer or until golden brown. Set aside to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.