Late Summer Strudel
Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
I can’t believe it is September already. In my Midwest kitchen, the end of summer means that the bounty of fresh fruit that has been at my disposal for the last 4 months is going to start dwindling. I’m taking advantage of every last bushel that I can before everyone’s attention shifts to apples, pears, and pumpkins. Peach strudel seems to be the perfect way to enjoy a few last bites of summer sweetness while gearing up for fall.
The thought of strudel causes my Northern European taste buds to instantly salivate. Memories of my trip to Austria—which was really an all-you-can-eat strudel buffet across the Alps—flash through my mind. To say that I love strudel would be an extreme understatement. Flaky layers of pastry wrapped around warm, soft, and slightly spiced fruit, served with vanilla and various sauces. When I was thinking about how I could use up some of my peaches, my love for all manner of strudel reminded me of that epic dessert. I set out to make a peach version. And let’s just say I am ready for the Austrians to call me for a throw down.
Yield: 1 large strudel
Prep Time: 1 hour | Bake Time: 15 minutes
For the filling:
2 1/2 cups fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut into thin slices
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/3 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the strudel assembly:
5 sheets phyllo dough, thawed (use 14×18-inch phyllo for 1 large strudel)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Stir together the peaches, brown sugar, flour, pecans, vanilla extract, and cinnamon; set aside.
Place a piece of parchment on your work surface. Place a sheet of phyllo on the mat or parchment, with the long side facing you. Brush the sheet of phyllo with melted butter and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Repeat with the remaining four sheets of phyllo, stacking them on top of one another.
Place the filling in a 3-inch-wide strip about 2 1/2 inches from the bottom and 2 inches from each side of the phyllo. Fold the short sides of phyllo over the filling. Then fold the bottom of the phyllo over the filling and very gently roll the strudel loosely.
Place the strudel, steam-side down, on the baking sheet. Brush with the melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Cut four 1-inch-long vents in the top of the strudel.
Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
Place the baking sheet on a cooling rack and allow to cool until warm, about 30 minutes.