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Martha's Apple Strudel with Lili

MyCookbook Recipe Database
MyCookbook Member: MSL
Recipe Category: Dessert
Recipe Preparation Level: difficult
    The Poseidon Bakery on Ninth Avenue in New York City supplies many of the city’s restaurants with phyllo, the paper-thin sheets of dough used in such recipes as baklava, spanakopita, or this flavorful apple strudel. Lili Fable, one of Poseidon’s owners, has been making phyllo for nearly forty years and uses it to make many of the bakery’s offerings. Although it’s possible to make phyllo at home, the process is laborious and time-consuming, and supermarkets and Greek bakeries often sell perfectly good fresh or frozen phyllo. If you use the frozen type, thaw it overnight, and don’t refreeze—it will turn brittle.

    Makes 2 twelve-inch strudels

    10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    1/4 cup finely ground almonds
    1/4 cup finely ground walnuts
    2 pounds Cortland, Macoun, Winesap, or other good baking apples (about 8 small), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch slices
    1/3 cup golden raisins
    6 tablespoons sugar
    Zest of one lemon
    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
    2 tablespoons cornstarch
    16 sheets phyllo

    1. Heat oven to 450°. Brush a large baking pan with melted butter. Set aside. Combine almonds and walnuts in a small bowl. Set aside.

    2. Combine apples, raisins, 2 tablespoons sugar, lemon zest, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.

    3. Bring 3/4 cup water and cornstarch to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring constantly until thick and smooth. Add 4 remaining tablespoons sugar, and stir until dissolved. Pour over apples. Stir to combine.

    4. Place a sheet of phyllo on a flat work surface to form a square. Brush with butter. Place a second sheet over the first. Brush with butter. Repeat four times.

    5. Spread 1/4 cup nuts over bottom one-third of phyllo in a 1-inch-wide line parallel to and about 3 inches from the edge of pastry. Top with a sheet of phyllo. Brush with butter. Spread half of apple mixture in a 3 1/2-inch-wide line covering the nuts; sprinkle with cinnamon. Top with a sheet of phyllo. Brush with butter. Fold in right and left sides of phyllo about 1 inch. Fold phyllo over once to cover apples. Brush with butter. Roll like a cigar almost to end, brushing all surfaces with butter. Fold in ragged edges, and brush with butter. Finish rolling, and place seam-side down in prepared pan.

    6. Brush with butter. Cut six 1-inch diagonal slits in top of roll. With fingers, widen slits slightly. Repeat with remaining phyllo and filling.

    7. Transfer to oven, and bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Lower heat to 350°. Continue baking until juices are bubbling and apples are tender when pierced with a knife, 30 to 40 minutes more.

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