Flaky Nusse (Nut) Strudel
Here is a recipe from the Jewish Chronicle (UK). Evelyn Rose
discusses the traditional use by Jews of honey as a sweetener. She
Honey is a familiar ingredient in Jewish cookery, not surprising,
considering it's the oldest sweetener known to mankind. Jewish
dishes we still sweeten with honey include dried fruit compote,
lekach and tsimmes.
Honey has a big advantage over white sugar in that it flavors, as
well as sweetens, a dish. It also has excellent browning properties
when spread on poultry, as in the spiced chicken dish below. It's
also good to use to bind together fillings for pastries, as in
hamantashen, baklava and the wonderful cream cheese strudel I give
Flaky Nusse (Nut) Strudel
Makes about 20 slices.
The cooked strudel will freeze for 3 months or will keep for 3 days
at room temperature in an airtight container.
Make the flaky pastry and filling the day before.
The nuts can be quickly and evenly chopped using the pulse action on
the food processor.
For the pastry:
4 oz. (125 g) butter left at room temperature for 1 hour
4 oz. (125 g) low or medium fat soft cheese (e.g. ricotta or curd
4 oz. (125 g) self-raising flour.
For the filling:
1 egg white
3 oz. (75 g) caster sugar [i.e. superfine sugar]
8 oz. (225 g) walnut halves, or pecans, finely chopped
1 rounded tbsp honey
finely-grated rind of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For spreading on the dough: 2-3 tbsp apricot, damson or cherry
For the glaze: the egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon water
For dredging on the cooked strudels: sifted icing sugar
The day before, make the flaky pastry as follows: work the butter
and cheese together with a fork until well blended, then gradually
work in the flour, kneading until a smooth dough is formed. Flatten
this dough into a block about 1 inch (2.5cm) thick, wrap in film or
foil and refrigerate overnight.
Now make the filling. Put the egg yolk into a small basin, cover and
refrigerate. Whisk the egg white until it holds soft peaks, then
fold in all the other filling ingredients, mixing well. Cover and
refrigerate ˜ the flavor will mature overnight.
To assemble the strudel: next day, remove the chilled pastry from
the refrigerator and divide in two portions. On a lightly floured
board, roll one portion into a rectangle approx. 12 x 7 inches (30 x
17.5 cm) then neaten the edges with a knife.
Spread the dough with a thin layer of the conserve, leaving 1/2 inch
(1.25 cm) clear on all sides, then spread half the filling on top.
Turn in the short ends to enclose the filling then roll up into a
long cylinder. Repeat with the other portion of pastry and filling.
Arrange the strudels side by side on an ungreased baking sheet.
To bake: preheat the oven to gas no.8 (450 F, 230 C). Brush the
strudels evenly with the glaze then prick decoratively with a fork
or tweezers (this prevents the pastry bursting in the oven and also
makes it easier for the icing sugar to cling to the surface after
baking). Bake for 5 minutes then turn the heat down to gas 5 (375 F,
190 C) for a further 20 minutes, or until the strudels are a rich
brown. Remove to a cooling rack.
To serve: ensure the strudels are at room temperature. Dredge
thickly with icing sugar then cut in 1- inch (2.5 cm) wide diagonal
slices. Serve plain with tea or coffee.