Cherry and Almond Strudel

I have always enjoyed strudel but felt too intimidated to make it. Once I made this recipe I realised how baseless those fears were! Honestly this is such an easy dessert that I know I will be making it again and again. Lately I’ve been getting more inspired by my cookbooks so this is another from the fabulous Food Safari book. This is how I used those extra sheets of filo pastry I mentioned in the spanokopita recipe, it’s an easy way to make two great dishes out of one box of filo pastry.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 x 680g jar of pitted sour (morello) cherries
  • 125g cream cheese
  • 125g ricotta cheese (I used light)
  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 50g flaked almonds
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 3 tablespoons dried breadcrumbs
  • 5 sheets filo pastry
  • 50g melted butter
  • Icing sugar to dust

The recipe recommends draining the ricotta cheese for a couple hours before hand. I did this by wrapping it in muslin cloth and tying it to a shelf in the fridge with a bowl underneath. To be honest, barely any liquid came out so I’m not sure it was worth the effort. However I did use light cream cheese so maybe that explains it.

Firstly, mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla essence. Now beat in the egg. Layer the filo pastry sheets, brushing each with butter as you go.

 

Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the pastry and spread the cream cheese mix over one end. Top the cheese mix with the cherries and almonds.
Fold the sides of the pastry in and and then turn the cheese-filled end over until it meets the end. Brush with melted butter to close and brush the top with butter to give a golden colour in the oven. place onto a line baking tray.

Bake in the oven at 200º for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven to 180º and bake for another 5 minutes until golden brown. I took mine to work the following day and, to be honest, it was far nicer fresh out of the oven. Dust heavily with icing sugar and serve with ice cream on a cold day to impress your guests – this is true comfort food.

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