Apple & Cinnamon Strudel baked by Venessa Greenwood. Photograph: Harry Weir
- Serves: 4
- Cooking Time: 120 mins
- Cuisine: Fusion
- 6-7 sheets filo pastry (approx 270g)
- 60g melted butter
- For the filling
- 4-5 large cooking apples, peeled, cored, cut into large dice
- 50g demerara sugar and extra for the top
- Finely grated zest and juice of ½ lemon
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 25g sultanas
- 50g flaked almonds
- 3-4 tbsp white breadcrumbs
- 150ml whipped cream, to serve
1. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C fan. Once the oven is hot, use a baking tray to lightly toast the almonds for 6 minutes or until golden, then crispen the breadcrumbs (approx 10 mins).
2. Place the apples, sugar, lemon juice and zest (and a splash of water if required) in a medium heavy-based saucepan. Cook on a low to medium heat for 5-8 minutes until starting to soften, add the cinnamon and sultanas. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
3. To assemble the strudel, place a rectangular sheet of filo pastry on a clean work surface, and working quickly so the pastry doesn’t dry out, brush with melted butter then continue layering and basting each sheet (reserve one unbasted).
4. Leaving a border at either short end, sprinkle a wide strip of toasted almonds down the middle, lay the reserved filo sheet on top and baste again. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs down the middle, then spoon the apple filling over the breadcrumbs forming a long mound.
5. Tuck the pastry ends inwards and fold the sides inwards to form a long parcel, basting with extra butter. Lift the parcel onto a baking tray. Use a knife to cut 3-4 diagonal slices into the top of the pastry to allow steam to escape. Brush the top with melted butter, and sprinkle with sugar.
6. Bake for 15 minutes to allow the pastry to colour nicely, then reduce the oven to 180°C fan for 30-40, minutes until the pastry is golden.
7. Serve hot and crisp, in slices with whipped cream, custard or ice cream.
Variation: Create fillings with many variations of fruit, nuts and spices. Apple can be combined with pear, plum and summer berries. Walnuts and pine nuts can be used instead of almonds.