Serves 4 to 6
Here is a delectable Viennese recipe for a pear strudel. Since it uses commercial frozen puff pastry this old fashion taste treat will fit into the schedule of today’s busy life style.
1 sheet Commercial Puff Pastry
6 to 8 ripe pears
Sugar to taste (you may substitute Splenda)
1 to 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger root
A few grindings of nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Egg wash – (1 egg lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water)
Raw, Turbinado or Demerrara sugar
Thaw the puff pastry. Peel the pears, remove the cores and cut into small pieces. Place in a bowl and combine with the next six ingredients. Allow to sit until the puff pastry is thawed.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Place the thawed sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and lightly flour the top. With a rolling pin, roll gently, just enough to somewhat smooth out the fold marks. Paint the edges of the pastry with the egg wash. Place the pear mixture in a line down the center third of the pastry, being careful not to get any on the edge. Leave about two inches of pastry uncovered at the bottom and top as well. If it gets on the edge it will make it difficult to seal the pastry closed. Now, fold the two uncovered thirds of pastry over the pear mixture, like you were wrapping a package. Pinch the edges all round to seal well. Turn this bundle over so that the sealed edges are down and place on a baking sheet lined with a piece of baker’s parchment. Paint the strudel with the egg wash and sprinkle lightly with raw sugar. Using a small, sharp knife, make several diagonal slits in the top of the strudel to allow steam to escape. *
Place the strudel in the center of the pre heated oven and bake for about forty-five minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the pear filling is soft when pierced with a slim bamboo skewer. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes before serving. Strudel may be served warm or at room temperature. A dollop of thick cream or Crème Fraîche would be an excellent enhancement, or even a scoop of rich vanilla ice cream.
* If you wish, you may leaves and other designs from scraps of pastry and use to decorate the top of your strudel.