Pear and Amaretto Strudel
Makes one large strudel serving 6-8.
Best served the same day it is cooked, but can be reheated between
Leftovers keep 2 days under refrigeration.
Freeze cooked for 1 month, but pastry tends to crumble.
For the filling:
2 oz. (50g) toasted pecans
1-1/2 lb (675g) ripe dessert pears
3 oz. (75g) ready-to-eat dried pears
2 level Tablespoon caster sugar
2 Tablespoon Amaretto, peach brandy or orange juice
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 Tablespoon apricot conserve
For the pastry:
1 x 275g pack of fillo pastry, defrosted
3-1/2 oz (100g) unsalted butter or margarine
100g (3-1/2 oz) pack macaroon, ratafia or Amaretti biscuits
crushed till the texture of coarse sand
Prepare the filling at least 30 minutes before you assemble the
Chop the pecans coarsely, put in a small, non-stick frying pan and
toss over medium heat until they smell toasty. Reserve.
Peel, quarter, then remove the cores of the fresh pears and slice
1/2 inch (1 cm) thick. Slice the dried pears in strips as thinly as
possible. Put both kinds of pear into a large bowl and add all the
remaining filling ingredients except the nuts. Mix gently, but
thoroughly, then leave for 30 minutes or more for the flavors to
blend and some of the liquid to be soaked up.
When ready to bake the strudel, preheat the oven to gas 6 (400 F,
200 C). Now add the nuts to the filling mixture.
For the strudel: you will need 3 layers of fillo pastry, each made
up into an 18-inch (45 cm) square. It is easier to roll up the
strudel if you assemble it on a tea towel, leaving the 2 inches (5
cm) of the towel nearest to you clear of pastry.
Make up the first square on the tea towel, brush it thinly but
evenly with the melted fat, then scatter with one-third of the
crushed crumbs. Arrange another square of fillo on top, brush and
scatter as before, then repeat with the top square.
Arrange the filling in a long strip about 2-3 inches (5 -7.5 cm)
wide, and 3 inches (7.5 cm) from the edge of the pastry nearest to
you, leaving 1 inch (2.5 cm) of pastry clear of filling on either
Turn in the sides of the pastry to seal in the juices, then with the
help of the tea towel roll up into a strudel and place on a shallow
greased baking tray, join side down.
Brush the top of the strudel with an even layer of the remaining
fat. Make 8 diagonal slashes about 2 inches apart through the top
layer of pastry.
Bake for 35 minutes until crisp and brown.
Reheats well in a moderate oven until warm to the touch.
To serve, sprinkle with icing sugar.
This is from the October 17, 1997, "Table Talk" column by Evelyn
Rose in the Jewish Chronicle (England)