Cherry strudel

Standard

This is an adaption of a traditional Hungarian dessert……..and just quietly it’s delicious.

Folding the pastry + mixture can be a bit tricky so a spare pair of hands might be useful. Otherwise it really is an easy recipe, filo pastry is so great to work with. The syrup is optional, but really adds some zing!

Ingredients

125 g ricotta cheese

375 g cream cheese

3 tbs caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 egg

5 sheets filo pastry

80 g unsalted butter melted

2 tbs dry breadcrumbs

680 g jar morello cherries – strained & juice reserved

2 tbs flaked almonds

icing sugar to dust

Syrup

strained juice from cherries

2 tbs cherry brandy

2 tbs sugar

1tsp cornflour mixed with enough water to form thin paste

Method

Strain ricotta in fine sieve for 1-2 hours before cooking.

Heat oven to 200ºC.  Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Beat the ricotta, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer until smooth, add the egg and beat well.

Lay 1 sheet of filo pastry on clean surface, brush evenly with melted butter.  Lay another sheet on top and brush with butter  – continue this process until there are 5 sheets of filo.  Spread the top sheet of filo with butter then sprinkle evenly with the bread crumbs.  Spread the cream cheese mixture along one side of the filo leaving a small gap around edges.  Place cherries on top of cheese mixture, then top with almonds.

Fold the side edges of the pastry in – brush exposed edges with butter.  Very carefully fold filo with mixture over, once again brushing exposed underneath with butter. Fold again until you have a nicely rolled package.  Spread butter over top of strudel.

Place onto prepared tray and bake for 15 minutes, reduce oven heat to 180ºC and bake for a further 5 minutes until pastry is golden brown.

Strudel is ideally best left for about 30 minutes before serving.  Dust with icing sugar and serve with syrup and cream.

To make syrup.  Heat syrup, liqueur and sugar in a pan and boil until 1/3 reduced in  size.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.  Gradually add cornflour mixture and return to heat stirring all the time until slightly thickened.

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