Photographer: Todd Zawistowski
Not a German grandmother’s recipe, but close. This crackly strudel is fragrant and comforting, and comes together nearly effortlessly with the help of frozen phyllo dough. Adapted from Savoring the Seasons of the Northern Heartland (UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA PRESS) by Beth Dooley and Lucia Watson.
4 cups diced apple
Grated zest of 1 orange
Juice of 1 orange
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup dried cherries (optional)
1 package frozen phyllo dough, thawed
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/2 cup finely crushed graham crackers
Heat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease large cookie sheet. In medium size bowl stir apples, orange zest, orange juice, brown
sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg and dried cherries to mix well. Place 2 sheets of phyllo on wax paper, slightly overlapping the sheets with long side facing you. Keep remaining sheets covered with dampened kitchen towel.
Brush first phyllo layer lightly with butter. Sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs. Top with two more sheets, brush with butter, and sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs. Repeat procedure with remaining phyllo sheets until you have used 8 sheets. Spoon apple filling across lower third of phyllo stack, leaving 2-inch border along bottom and both sides. Fold side borders over filling; brush with butter. Roll up jellyroll fashion, starting with edge closest to you.
Place strudel, seam-side down, on prepared cookie sheet; brush liberally with butter. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until brown and crispy. Remove to wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream. Serves 8.