Solange creates a strudel with a contemporary twist, inspired by a recent trip to Vienna. This popular pastry is encased with apples and pomegranate seeds instead of the traditional raisin. Serve dusted with icing sugar alongside ice cream, whipped cream or custard for a real treat!
The first record we have of Apple Strudel dates back to 1696. This old recipe tends to lack appeal, not because of the crisp layers of filo pastry, or the soft sweet fruity centre, but due to the presence of raisins, an ingredient not favoured by everyone.
Recently in Vienna I was kindly baked a Strudel with fresh grapes. Taking liberties with a classic is to open the door to the weird and wonderful! As soon as I took a bite I could see that it would work really well with pomegranate seeds.
Back in London, it was time for some research. Strudels like all pastries are more delicious with home-made pastry, yet whilst I’ve heard that Filo Pastry is easy to make, for this recipe I have opted for the commercial kind.
Apple and Pomegranate Strudel
4 large apples (Reinette or Pink Lady)
4 to 6 sheets filo pastry (defrosted)
120g brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
1 pinch salt
Icing sugar to sieve on the top
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5, 375°F (190°C).
Peel, core and slice the apples before cooking slowly in a pan. If you want more authenticity, cook the apples in melted butter (about 40g).
When the apples are soft add the pomegranate seeds. To extract the seeds from the pomegranate stand the fruit on its base. Pick it up and slice horizontally, tap a wooden spoon on the top and side and the seeds should drop out easily.
Stir the apples and pomegranate seeds together and leave to cool. Whilst recipes do not advise to, you could leave this mixture in the fridge for up to a week before making the rest of the strudel.
Whilst the mixture cools, melt the butter and place one sheet of filo pastry on a worktop. Brush liberally with butter and repeat until there are no more filo sheets. Make sure to keep the filo sheets whole, otherwise they could split and leave a mess.
Cut the stack of filo in half starting from the long side (this step is not necessary but it will be easier to handle the strudel). If the mixture is too wet, discard or reduce the liquid.
Line the mixture on the filo along the long sides about an inch from the edge, leaving space at the small edges to fold. Roll the pastry to make a cigarette shape and close the edges with a little water. You can use a towel to roll if you find it easier.
Transfer to a baking tray and cook in a preheated oven for 20 minutes at a medium to high temperature.
For more great baking recipes visit Great British Chefs.
Leave it to cool and sprinkle icing sugar on the top, serve warm with ice-cream.