Sunday, December 2, 2012

Bulgarian Cherry Strudel

The first place I tried cherry strudel in was Pennsylvania, in the summer.
Strudel means "whirlwind", and stands for the filling, which is a whirlwind of ingredients. The oldest written strudel recipe is Viennese, from 1696, and the dough used to make it originated from Middle Eastern pastries; thus, it is related to baklava.

Recipe for Bulgarian Cherry Strudel, or Cherashata
3 cups flour
1 egg
10 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 pounds bing cherries, washed, stemmed, and pitted, or two cans of pitted cherries in liquid, strained
3/4 cup dry breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix the flour, egg, and melted butter. Add warm water a tablespoon at a time. Let it sit for half an hour. Then stretch it slowly and carefully across a clean tablecloth, or a mat. You can roll it out completely on a tablecloth, or choose to roll out fractions of it at a time, on a plastic mat.

Roll it out as thin as you can, in order to be able to see what is underneath. In the photo above, you are able to see and read the words that are on the mat. That means you rolled it thin enough. Sometimes it will tear, invariably. When it does, just make sure the next layer you place over it covers the hole underneath. If you are making smaller layers, you should complete about 8 of them.
Ricotta Strudel Filling
Mix the sugar, breadcrumbs, cherries, and walnuts and place the filling on one end of the phyllo dough. Then cover it with the dough, and roll it until the dough has been used.

Place in oven at 350 degrees for one hour.


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