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Happy Canada Day!

The name of Canada origins from a First Nations word kanata (or canada) for “settlement”, “village”, or “land”.  I cannot celebrate Canada without acknowledging the first inhabitants of our land.  We have come full circle, as now we look to them to save us from progress. I wish the First Nations well in their fight to protect this beautiful land and oceans. You cannot breathe, eat or drink corporate profit.   

Yes I can make hand pulled strudel dough. But this time I used commercial filo sheets. As easy as it appears, in reality filo strudel is easily ruined. 

Brush on the butter lightly. Cooking spray is humbug. Don’t roll it by hands. Flip it with a clean kitchen towel.

Next come the cherries! Fresh cherries let a lot of juice. Sugar them and let them rest for an hour and then squeeze the heck out of them.

One more thing about cherries… sweet and sour cherries require different handling. Sour cherry has a robust flavour and tastes great with a sprinkle of cinnamon. It is further complimented with sugared ground walnuts. But sweet cherry has a mild flavour and neither cinnamon and nor ground walnuts should be used. Otherwise all you will taste is cinnamon and walnuts and you will wonder where the cherry flavour went.  Always, always use a mixture of ground almonds and bread crumbs when you use sweet cherries.

If you are interested in strudel making, you probably have seen pictures or watched videos flamboyantly scattering the fruit or filling all over the pastry. Well don’t! That just makes the pastry soggy. Form a loose log [in other words don’t squeeze the cherries into a tight log] over the ground nuts on one end of the pastry. The layer of nuts and/or breadcrumbs under the fruit will catch the moisture left in the cherries. Then loosely roll up the pastry layers. That’s how real strudel is made: Soft and sweet filling on the inside and wispy and crispy on the outside.

As you see even the simplest of things can go wrong if you misapply the ingredients or fail to read the introduction. Follow the recipe and you will save yourself a lot of grief.

For every strudel roll use:

6 sheets of commercial filo pastry
1/4 cup melted butter
2 cups of sweet pitted cherries, [which equals to 4 cups of fresh cherries]
1/4 cup + 3Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup finely ground almonds
1/8 cup fine bread crumbs
1 whisked egg for egg wash
[if you make more, be aware that one whisked egg is sufficient for 6-8 strudel rolls]
icing sugar for sprinkling 

  • Place the frozen filo dough in the refrigerator to thaw at least for 12 to 24 hours. If thawed too quickly the sheets will crack.
  • When the dough is fully thawed, prepare the fruit and set aside.
  • Remove the stems and wash the cherries.
  • Pit them, wash and drain them.
  • Combine them with 1/4 cup of sugar.
  • Set it aside for 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile combine the ground almonds with the ground bread crumbs and set it aside
  • After one hour drain the juice off the cherries.
  • Using your hands squeeze out the remaining juices. 
  • Next take out 5 sheets per strudel and place immediately onto a large piece of plastic wrap on a smooth, clean surface.
  • Cover right away with a large piece of plastic wrap.
  • Place a damp kitchen towel on top of the plastic.
  • Rewrap the extra dough tightly in plastic wrap, and box and place in the freezer or refrigerator for longer storage.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Place one sheet on the work surface.
  • Dip a soft pastry brush in melted butter and brush all over the pastry lightly.
  • Sprinkle 1 tsp of ground almond mixture on the top.
  • Place the next sheet on top.
  • Butter and sprinkle again.
  • Try not to position tears on top of each other.
  • After the last sheet is buttered, lift the laminated pastry sheets onto a clean kitchen towel.
  • Place the remaining ground nut mixture along the long end of the filo sheet.
  • Loosely lay the prepared cherries on top of the nut mixture.
  • Sprinkle the cherries first with 2 Tbsp sugar and then with 3 Tbsp of melted butter.
  • Using the tablecloth flip the dough over the filling.
  • Gently lift the roll onto parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Tuck the ends under.
  • Brush the top first with butter and then with the egg wash.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until light golden.
  • Remove from the oven, slice and dust with icing sugar. 
  • Cover up leftovers with a clean kitchen towel and store on the counter or in the cupboard. It will keep for a couple of days. However strudel is best on the day it was made.



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It began with posting a few recipes on line for my family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on the cookbook to access the recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. Happy cooking!