Proper strudels are made from very thin pastry rolled out so thin it will stretch over a table like a vast floury cloth. It should be so fine that you could read a newspaper through it. I’ve seen it made from scratch in Vienna at the Demel Coffee House. This elastic pastry is related to baklava and filo pastry.
Hungary was part of both the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires, so it’s not surprising that Budapest cafes always have strudel as part of their repertoire.
Most fruits can be used, classically a strudel is made with apple chunks, cinnamon and sultanas. Recently I’ve been using plums such as the Flavourking plum also known as the ‘bubble gum’ plum or pluot due to its slight bubble gum flavour.
I particularly love sour fruits such as cherries, so here is an easy recipe for sour cherry strudel (Weichselstrudel)). It’ll take about half an hour using my cheat method of filo pastry. Sour cherries can be bought frozen in Middle Eastern stores or here.
A strudel is so easy to make but looks impressive. Have a go!
Sour Cherry Strudel
- 600 g sour cherries or ordinary cherries, stoned
- 1 tbsp kirsch/schnapps
- 100 g caster sugar
- 6 sheets filo pastry
- 50 g butter, melted
- 3 tbsp poppy seeds
- icing sugar, To dust
- Preheat the oven to 190C and line a baking tin with parchment paper or a silpat
- Combine the cherries, kirsch and sugar.
- Lay out a sheet of filo pastry and brush it with the melted butter, then take another and lay it alongside, with the longest edge overlapping the corresponding edge of the first sheet by a centimetre. Together, the two sheets become one very large sheet of filo. Brush with more melted butter.
- Lay another two sheets on top, brush with butter, then lay the final two sheets.
- Spread the cherry mixture evenly leaving a margin down the longest edge.
- Turn up the bare long edge, fold it over the filling and lift the long edge opposite and roll it towards you, making a Swiss roll shape. Seal and brush top with melted butter. Sprinkle with poppy seeds.
- Place on baking tray and bake for 12 minutes or until golden and crisp. Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately with cream