By Dina Eliash Robinson
“Ideal for the weight-conscious and lacto-uovo (dairy and egg consuming) vegetarian.”
This recipe was originally—and incorrectly—posted as “Vegan,” but thanks to an eagle-eyed and knowledgeable reader’s comments (see below recipe), we mended our ways and fixed the glitch.
It is highly recommend that only Pyrex glass or stainless steel baking dish be used to prevent spoiling the taste and healthy nature of the dish with undesirable chemical reaction from containers made with other metals or substances.
Having discovered that this strudel keeps its flavor and freshness for more than two weeks in the refrigerator, I’ve been baking ever-larger batches to
last us for more frequent (guilt-free) snacking, as well as to have a ready treat for both drop-in and invited guests.
This recipe fills my 15” long by 9” wide Pyrex baking dish and yields from 12 to 20 servings—depending on their sizes. For smaller batch, cut quantities of the ingredients in half—although still using one whole egg.
Ingredients (preferably all organic):
2/3 of a 16 oz. box of frozen, organic, whole wheat 13” x 18” Filo dough pastry sheets (mine is a product of The Filo Factory)
1 whole egg
2/3 cup of egg whites
1 vacuum-sealed, (approx. 14 oz.) package of tofu in water
1 large banana
1/3 cup of rinsed currants or raisins
2/3 stick salt-free butter
5 large—or 6 medium-sized—apples
2 tablespoons honey
2/3 cup sweet chocolate or carob chips
½ teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon liquid vanilla extract
½ cup applesauce
½ cup juice (blueberry, apple or grape—NO citrus or pineapple)
2/3-teaspoon (powdered) cinnamon
Dash of powdered ginger
Dash of Turmeric
1 cup crumbs from crushed cinnamon crackers
Coat the baking dish by rubbing 1/3 of a stick of butter all over the bottom and sides.
After following the directions on the Filo dough box, carefully cover the bottom of the baking dish with 3-4 Filo sheets.
Preheat oven at 400 degrees.
Drain the water off the tofu, cut it in half and in a blender, combine it with the banana, currants (or raisins), honey, cinnamon, vanilla extract, lemon zest, apple sauce, ginger, turmeric, whole egg and egg whites and blend until it is a smooth, easy to pour purée. (If you really want to party and don’t mind increasing the calorie count a bit, add 2 tablespoons of Cognac, rum or a sweet liquor.)
Add the chocolate or carob chips to the blended purée, mix well and refrigerate as is, in blender container while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
Core and cut the apples into thin slices.
Layer half the apples on the Filo sheets in the baking dish.
Take the tofu blend out of the fridge and pour HALF of it onto the apples, covering them by smoothing it evenly throughout the dish—then return the blend to fridge.
Layer the rest of the apples onto the tofu blend as evenly as possible, then take the puréed blend from the fridge and pour the rest of it over the apples, smoothing and evening it out again.
Cover the whole dish with several layers of Filo dough—from 5 to 7 sheets, or as preferred.
Cut the rest of the butter stick into thin slices and spread it as evenly as possible over the Filo sheets.
Sprinkle the crushed cinnamon cracker crumbs all over the strudel, as evenly as possible.
Pour the ½ cup of juice carefully to moisten the crumbs and Filo topping.
Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 40 minutes—but since ovens vary, keep checking to make sure the top of the strudel does not burn—as soon as it begins to brown, lower the heat to 380 degrees and bake until the top is crunchy, the apples are fully baked and the tofu purée is firm. (Cut into the thickest part of the strudel to check for consistency.)
Remove from oven; serve at room temperature; refrigerate only when it is completely cool. Serve with organic icecream substitute made from rice- or soy milk for a dairy-free, vegan dessert. Dairy-consuming vegetarians could use regular icecream