Friday, 28 November 2014


My apple turnovers went down a treat last weekend. Well with me anyway I must of eaten about 6. Proper little pig me! What is a boy to do when he doesn't have any puff pastry to hand. I ain't making any (ain't nobody got time for that!). Lucky for me I had some filo pastry sheets to hand so I thought it would be perfect to use the same filling but create a stunning strudel instead. So this time you get that warm cinnamon spiced apple, apricot and raisin filling but this time wrapped in a beautiful crispy filo snake. Another wonderful winter treat!

In a similar way to the turnovers I've added in some apricots to add some more fruity flavours to the strudel and again in the same way you can leave them out if your not a fan or replace them with the fruit of your choice. Cranberries would give the strudel a great festive feel.

The raisins can also be left out if you wish or a similar dried fruit such as a current or sultana will work too. I've soaked mine in a touch of Amaretto again as I do love a little splash of the stuff in my bakes. You could use another type of alcohol if you wish, brandy or rum would work well or if you don't drink alcohol then soak your raisins in the juice of an orange or lemon instead just to juice them up a bit otherwise they may go a bit dry after baking.

The polenta is used to thicken up your filling and soak up any excess moisture before putting in into the filo. It helps to bind it together so that the filling doesn't make the pastry all soggy and cause the filling to ooze out everywhere. I use it as I have polenta lying around in my cupboard looking all forlorn as it's not used very often but a hand full of breadcrumbs will work as well if you don't have or don't like polenta.

Why is it a snake? Well unless you have a really wide oven and long baking trays your strudel is probably not all going to fit in as one long sausage. Turn up the edges like in the picture to the right and you have something which resembles a rather appetising looking filo snake. Well, I think it does anyway. Anyway, give the recipe below a go and see how well yours comes slithering out the oven.

Apple Strudel Snake

1 Large Hand Full Of Raisins
2 Tbsp Amaretto
800g Peeled And Cored Apples Cut Into Chunks
Zest And Juice Of 1 Lemon
50g Butter (And A Smidge More For Brushing)
100g Dark Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
Hand Full Of Fine Polenta
6 Sheets Of Filo Pastry

  1. Throw the raisins in a bowl with the amaretto and let them soak whilst you get on with the remainder of the filling
  2. Throw the apples into a saucepan the butter,sugar, apricots, lemon juice, zest, cinnamon and 100ml of water and then turn up the heat to gently bring everything to a boil, stirring as you do. Once boiling turn the pan down to a simmer and cover for 8–10 minutes. The mix should thick and the apples should of soften but still be in chunks.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and add in the soaked raisins and polenta and give everything a good mix. The filling shouldthicken up more after the addition of the polenta. If you still have excess moisture add a smidge more polenta, it should feel wet to the touch but not runny.
  4. Leave the filling to cool and get your oven on to 200 degrees (180 fan).
  5. Once the filling is cool, take a long piece of grease proof paper and brush it with some melted butter. Take one sheet of filo and brush with more butter. Take another piece and overlap itover half of the first piece and brush again. 
  6. Repeat with all the sheets until you have a filo rectangle of overlapping pieces, 3 in width and two in length.
  7. Spoon the filling into the centre of the rectangle making a strip along the length of the pasty but leave an inch gap from the edges. Take the two corners of the grease proof paper nearest to you and use it to roll the pastry over the filling to encase. You should now have what resembles a long apple snake.
  8. Tuck in the pastry on the edges and use some more meltedbutter to seal them and the long seam across the length of the snake. Transfer the snake onto a baking tray lined with grease proof paper and bend the edges of the snake around to resemble an "S" shape so that it all fits on the tray.
  9. Place in the oven for around 30-35 minutes until golden brown and crispy. If the pastry is browning too quickly then cover it with a piece of foil to prevent it from burning.
Remove from the oven and serve in warm slices straight from the oven with a big dollop of vanilla or clotted cream ice cream. 

I hope this recipe makes sense to you all. Please refer to the pictures for help for how to assemble your snake. If you get it spot on though you will be tucking into another fantastic winter time treat that will warm you up good and proper after braving the cold. Defiantly one snake you'll be charming people with again and again!

Looking for more apple based treats? Check out this Crostate Di Mele by Chestnut and Truffles

No comments:

Post a Comment