Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Easy Apple Fruit and Nut Strudel

You know what I need at the advent of Fall? A freakishly amazing strudel to knock me down on my knees and make me beg for mercy. It's a sick obsession...and I tell you there needs to be some kind of community intervention. I need to be locked in a room without an oven for a few weeks when the apples are this beautiful and the pastry is just begging to be filled with all kinds of romance. Evil freak-of-nature. How can I live with myself creating this stuff and then...not eating it?! You know what? I gave this entire confection away! Yup...be impressed.

 Tutorial Tuesday is here and I have decidedly been a little slow on posting this one...because I sure don't want my secrets getting leaked out all over the internet. Heaven forbid! People will start making wild passionate apple strudel all over the country and then what?! Total societal meltdown. Why? Because I got a little freaky reckless and started posting horribly evil things like strudel on my blog. So...shoot me. This one is for Janae Turner and her lovely husband Adrian...who came up with Bakeresse as my nickname. I think I owe Adrian at least a little post on the strudel. Plus, he and his wife were nice enough to eat this so I didn't have to stare at it's evil goodness all day. Bless you both! Now, this one I'm actually making without adding extra sugar. It's the natural fruit and the puff pastry sweetened naturally with stevia. You're welcome. Don't worry...you won't miss the sugar.
 I mean, seriously look at that rippling ab. I can't be held responsible for the human reaction I have to that in pastry form right?
Okay, so here's what you need.

1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough ( as I haven't done the tutorial for puff pastry yet I'm seriously not doing it today. So...ya know...this is the easy version here).

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup sundried cherries
1/2 cup dried blueberries
juice and zest of one orange
1T Chef Tess Wise Women of the East Spice and Floral Blend
20 drops stevia natural sweetner (or 1/2 cup sugar)
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup melted butter
Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Remove pastry sheet from wrapper. Seriously I know...this is the cheater method. You can make your own pastry if you want. I usually do...but how much can I do in one post? Seriously.  Put the dough on a lightly floured counter top.
 Place berries and juice in a quart sauce pan and cook over low heat until fruit absorbs juice.
 Add the apples and zest. What is it about apples that makes me want to do a dramatic swoon across the room and pronounce them aaaaaaahpples daaaaahling. What is it? I'm not sure. I just love Fall and good baking apples.
 Season generously with my blend. Yup. You need it. It's not just cinnamon...it's a way of life. It's got a lot of other spices and citrus...and a hint at the very end of lavender and rosepetal. It will change your pastry life. I'm not kidding. Chef Tess Wise Women of the East Spice and Floral Blend. Add the stevia here too.
 Add the nuts and cook 3-5 minutes until apples are tender, but not mushy.

 Open up the pastry and fill the center 1/3 with a generous portion of the apple filling being careful not to get the filling on the outside flaps.
 Cut the sides into strips 1/2 inch wide, up to the filling.
 Fold the strips over the filling, being sure to tuck the strips into the side.
Now, drizzle the top with melted butter.

Transfer the strudel onto a baking sheet and put in the center of the preheated 425 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.

It will look like this...

Now, I actually took a micro-zest to an extra lemon and then mixed the zest with a tablespoon of vanilla honey. With a pastry brush, while pastry is still hot, spread the honey over the entire confection. 
Quick...while you still have some will power left...call a good friend and walk it over. Go! 
P.S. yes...I'm still home. Come on over with your strudel...anytime.

Your Friend,
Chef Tess


kranthi said...

nice recipe.mouth watering.but i cant make it. i dont have microwave in my kitchen can you tell the process how to do without microwave.

Chef Tess said...

I bake it in a regular oven. You don't need a microwave. Cook the filling on a stove in a pot.

Life of Nae said...

Awww! You are awesome and the sweetest! Love you tons! :)

Heather Hunt said...

Ok, THIS I will make in the next couple days!