Improvised by Dina Eliash Robinson
Save time and energy by whipping up two (organic) desserts from a single source—one quick-boiled fruit Compote (i.e. cold-eaten fruit ‘soup’), the other a baked fruit Strudel—ingredients selected, measured and flavored to your own individual taste, Jazz Cooking style at its best.
Quantities can be tailored to as many portions as you wish, since they both keep fresh in the fridge for at least two weeks and the Compote also easily lends itself to freezing for future consumption.
The sweetness in both Compote and Strudel comes from the raw and dried fruits and require NO added sugar at all. In fact, adding sweeteners would spoil both desserts.
The Preparation of Low-Sugar Version (free of added sugar, of course): Slice fresh apples and pears, place them into a big pot; add fresh or dried cranberries, blueberries, tart or sweet cherries and apricots; part of a small lemon (with skin), a half-teaspoon of cinnamon powder, a tablespoon or more of vanilla extract and enough bottled spring water to cover them all the fruit. Place lid on pot. Turn up the heat to boiling until it does, then turn it down to simmer. Remove pot from heat when hardest fruit is easy to chew and is no longer crunchy.
For the Strudel: Ladle about 6-8 cups of fruit into a glass or Corning Ware container to cool, leaving the rest of the fruit and liquid in the pot.
Strudel: Distribute slices of about half a goat butter stick on the bottom of a large Pyrex baking dish. Unfold half of a frozen organic Filo dough roll and cover the entire bottom of the dish (don’t worry if the Filo crumbles or falls apart, just make sure the whole dish bottom is covered). When the cooked fruit is cooled, spread it over the entire Filo dough. Unfold the rest of the (semi-frozen) dough and cover the fruit completely. Crumble Graham crackers or other low-sugar cookies and spread them on top of the Strudel. Distribute 6-8 slices of goat butter on top of it. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees, place Pyrex on a center shelf, bake for 35 minutes, lower heat to 380 degrees and bake for another 20 minutes or until top of the Strudel is rosy color—but keep watching it to make sure it does NOT turn brown.
When done, remove Strudel from oven. Slice and eat it warm, with or without organic whipped coconut or rice cream or non-dairy ice cream. It is equally delicious at room temperature, refrigerated or re-heated.
Sweeter Version, while still free of added sugar, allows for the addition of fruits with higher sugar content—such as grapes, prunes, figs, mango slices and raisins. But remember: Added sugar is still neither needed nor recommended.
Compote: While Strudel is baking, ladle the Compote into bowls, making sure to distribute fruit-to-liquid portions as equally as possible. When cooled, refrigerate. Compote makes excellent cold summer soup to start meals with or a finishing dessert in any season. It is even more delicious with a couple of tablespoons of goat yoghurt mixed in—which transforms the compote into a healthy probiotic.