I feel like the pear fruit is a highly under rated fruit and why I decided to feature it in my recipe for Pear and Apple Strudel
Now let me preface this entire tutorial by saying, I know my recipe for making strudel is not a true Austrian Strudel Dough which gets stretched and pulled across the entire table so thin that you can read a newspaper through it!
Yes I did learn this technique in school and let me just say, “Pure Pastry Art!”
I will recommend trying a homemade strudel dough at least once in your lifetime, and trust me, once may be enough!
The first and only time I did this was way back in pastry school and I recall needing 2 people to execute the job.
Thanks to The Phyllo Dough we can enjoy a really great strudel without the tedious task of pulling our own dough!
So, as I said the pear is such a delicious fruit, but not many people ever use it in desserts and I’m not really sure why.
I once read an article that said men prefer pears over apples and women are the opposite.
I do not know if this is a true statistic but I thought let me combine both of them together in this awesome, flavorful winter fruit strudel packed with pears, apples raisins and walnuts.
Lots of different spices are dancing around in this strudel as well and let me just tell you it taste SUPERB!
Nothing beats a piping hot fruit strudel on a cold winter night! (add ice cream if you want to really take this baby over the top!)
Now I have a feeling some of you were stopped at “raisins” and I know one thing and that is people who don’t like raisins really DO NOT LIKE RAISINS! And they will surely tell you all about it!
You can feel free to leave those out or substitute with something similar like dates or cranberries or nothing at all.
I urge you to try this recipe exactly as written though because those raisins plumped in butter…
Yeah, I said it~ “plumped in butter” ~ !
Ok enough of me jabbering~ get going on this strudel!
(It takes about an hour and a half from start to finish including the bake time! How awesome is that!?)
Veganize this recipe by using coconut oil instead of butter to brush the layers of dough since phyllo dough is already vegan!
I typically buy 2 boxes of Phyllo Dough whenever I am going to make this recipe, although you only need ½ of a 1lb box. Often times you get a "bum box" and the phyllo inside is severely messed up. It just saves me another trip to the market the day I am preparing the strudel (Extra Phyllo dough stays fresh for months in the freezer)
The amount of granulated sugar for the filling depends upon how ripe your fruits are and according to your taste buds. You may leave out the sugar entirely
You may notice that in the video I started with 2 sticks of butter, but at the end of the video I had a lot leftover so I reduced the entire amount to 12 Tbs
- Bartlett Pears 5 large
- Granny Smith Apples 2 Large
- Golden &/or Regular Raisins 1 cup (170g)
- Chopped Walnuts 1 cup (120g)
- *Granulated Sugar 0 - ¼ cup (0g- 50g)
- Lemon Juice and Zest from ½ lemon
- Arrowroot Starch 5 teaspoons (13g)
- Vanilla Bean 1 (Or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
- Brandy 2 tablespoons (30ml) (*or apple juice if you do not want the alcohol)
- Ground Cinnamon 1 teaspoon (2g)
- Nutmeg ⅛ teaspoon
- Cardamom ¼ teaspoon
- Anise Pods 5
- Phyllo Dough ½- box (8ounces) Typically boxes are 1 lb each
- Unsalted Butter 12 Tablespoons (170g)
- Cinnamon Sugar as needed
- Peel and core the apples and pears and then dice them to about ½" cubes.
- Zest the lemon and add the juice from ½ to the diced fruit.
- Add the arrowroot, spices (except the anise pods) the brandy, granulated sugar (if using) and the lightly toasted chopped walnuts.
- Combine the butter with the raisins, vanilla bean pod and anise pods over a low heat to melt the butter and plump the raisins.
- Drain the butter into a small bowl and reserve while adding the plumped raisins to the fruit mixture. (Be sure to pick out the anise pods & the vanilla bean pod!)
- Toss everything together thoroughly
- Prepare your table with an apron or a large towel as shown in the video
- Layout the phyllo dough as shown in the video brushing lightly each layer sparingly with melted butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar before proceeding to the next layer.
- Repeat this process until all of the phyllo from the entire 8oz has been used.
- Pour out the winter fruit mixture onto the center of the dough and shape it to form a tight log.
- Roll up the dough from one edge until it meets the other edge
- Brush the top of the strudel with butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar
- Transfer the entire strudel to a parchment lined sheet pan and bake in a preheated 400° F oven for approximately 30 minutes and nicely golden browned.
- Cool slightly before cutting and serve warm.
UNBAKED strudel can be frozen for up to a month and then thawed completely before baking as directed in the instructions.
The possibilities are endless! Get Creative!