Flaky Apple Strudel

Ingredients (organics preferred—but you are free to adjust ingredients, proportions and measurements to your pleasure, creativity and taste):

  • A box of frozen, Organic Filo Dough (sold at Whole Foods and elsewhere)
  • 6-8 medium size apples—Fuji, Honey Crisp, Gala or other hard and crunchy types
  • Approx. 2/3 (two-thirds) stick of butter (if preferred, canola, grape-seed or other oil appropriate for high temperature baking can be substituted or used in combination with the butter to lower the cholesterol content of this recipe)
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup dry cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons raw or brown sugar—or 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon peel zest
  • 2 whole eggs
  • ½ cup egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon ground walnuts or almonds (optional but recommended for nutritional value)
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1-tablespoon cognac or liquor (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon (or less) of liquid vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
  • 2/3 cup of crumbled cinnamon crackers to combine with the ground nuts for a crunchy, toasted topping.

Directions:Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 9.10.51 AM

  • Choose the size of a stainless steel or Pyrex-style glass (my preference) baking pan that best fits the size of strudel you plan to make.
  • Unroll and lay out separately, on flat surfaces, 3 sets each of 4-5 Filo Dough sheets carefully separated and reassembled to allow some air between the sheets; sets to be large enough to completely cover the bottom of the entire baking pan and each of the 2 (approx. 1-1/2 inch thick) layers of mixed apple ingredients between the bottom layer and second set of sheets and between the second layer of ingredients and the top set of Filo Dough sheets (each of the latter to be well tucked in around the fillings).

NOTE: Don’t worry if some of the Filo Dough breaks up as you work with it. Just layer them as densely as possible to look as if the sheets are whole.

  • Cover the baking pan’s bottom with half of the melted butter and cover it with the first batch of Filo Dough sheets. Set pan aside.
  • Prepare (i.e. wash with Castile soap, dry and core) the apples.
  • Cut up 4 -5 of the apples into bite-size pieces and put them into a big bowl.
  • Purée 2 apples (i.e. turn them into apple sauce) in a food processor & add to the bowl.
  • Rinse the raisins and cranberries and add to the bowl.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients (cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, sugar or honey, vanilla extract, lemon juice and zest, eggs and egg whites, half of the remaining melted butter—or equivalent in canola or grape-seed oil—salt, etc.) and mix well. (Note: If you prefer, more nuts could be ground up and included in the filling—i.e. the mix—in addition to their use for the topping.)
  • Spread first one layer of the mixture onto the bottom set of Filo Dough, then cover it with the second set of Filo Dough and spoon some of the melted butter (or cold oil) on top of it.
  • Repeat by spreading the rest of the mixture on top of the second set of Filo sheets; cover it with the third set of sheets.
  • Crush, crumble and spread cinnamon cracker crumbs, mix them with the remainder of the ground nuts and spread as evenly as possible on the top Filo Dough set of sheets.
  • Spoon the rest of the butter on top. (Note: It might be better to have butter on the top sheets, rather than oil—your choice.) f needed, sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of additional melted butter on the top set of Filo sheets to achieve a rosy, crunchy crust during baking.
  • Bake at 350 degrees until cubed apple pieces are soft and visible Filo sheets are rosy and crisp—start checking for ‘done-ness’ after 30 minutes; if apples are still too hard, turn up the oven to 400 degrees and bake for another 10-15 minutes.

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