Ah, the nostalgia of toaster strudel before school. You think it's good until you realize a very important homemade secret. A secret... that we will discuss today.
3 cups (560g) granulated sugar
Zest 1 lemon
1/4 cup (65g) lemon juice
Seasonal Apple Filling:
2 honey crisp apples, peeled and grated
2.5 Tbsp unsalted butter, browned
2 Tbsp rum or whiskey
1.25 Tbsp (12g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (100g) dark brown sugar
1.5 (5g) tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp (12g) lemon juice
Traditional Strudel Filling:
3/4 cup jam250g (raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, etc.)
2.5 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp water
2 ounces (55g) cream cheese*optional
1 vanilla bean or 2teaspoons(6g) vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract *optional
1 cup powdered sugar
Strawberry Filling Method:
Start by cutting off the top of the strawberries and cutting in half or quarters. Place into a medium-size saucepot.
Add in granulated sugar. Mix together and let sit for 10 minutes.
Using a handheld masher, mash the strawberries as much as possible. Add in the lemon juice.
Set over a stove set to medium heat. Let heat and stir occasionally until strawberries melt and liquid releases.
Increase to medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Let boil for 10 minutes or until it reaches 220F.
Pour into a bowl and let cool at room temperature. Or chill over an ice bath.
Apple Filling Method:
Start by peeling and grating the granny smith apples into a large bowl.
In a separate pan, melt unsalted butter over medium heat. Let cook, swirling pan occasionally until a light brown butter forms.
Add in the apples and stir together. Once juices seep out and simmer stir in rum or whiskey. Let simmer for an additional 2 minutes.
Add and stir in all-purpose flour, light brown sugar, ground cinnamon, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt.
Bring to a simmer and cook just until the apple is cooked through and thickened (3-5 minutes).
Roll a sheet of puff pastry (store-bought or my recipe) into a ¼” thick rectangle about 10” wide and 12” long.
At the bottom of the pastry, mark slits every 3” interval across the dough.
Using the markers as guides, cut the pastry into long strips then fold in half.
Cut along the creases to create 2 even pieces of pastry.
Separately make some egg wash (egg & water whisked together) in a small bowl.
Using the filling of choice, place a dollop of filling in the center of the pastry leaving a ½” border around the edges.
Give the borders a brush of egg wash. Take the other half of the dough and gently lay it on the other half with filling. Pinch the edges shut.
Place onto baking sheets, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Place the strudels on parchment-lined baking sheets topped with egg wash and bake for 20 minutes.
For the icing, in a medium bowl beat together cream cheese with optional almond extract, powdered sugar, and whole milk one teaspoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Finally, beat in the beans of a vanilla bean.
Once strudels are finished baking, let cool on a wire rack until warm.
Immediately drizzle with a nice pattern of the icing and serve.