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Berghoff Hotel's Apple Strudel

2 C. apple juice
3 Jonathan or Granny Smith apples
1 C. sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 T. ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 C. water
2 T. cornstarch
1/2 C. golden raisins
1/2 C. shelled pecans or walnuts, crumbled into bits
5 sheets phyllo dough
1/4 C. butter, melted
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (optional)

In a saucepot, bring apple juice to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, peel and core apples and cut into thin wedges. Place wedges in boiling apple juice, add sugar and cinnamon and stir. Cook until apples are just cooked through but still firm, 4 to 5 minutes.

Place the 1/4 cup water in small bowl, add cornstarch and stir to dissolve. Stir cornstarch mixture into apple mixture. Add raisins and nuts and remove from heat. Cool mixture completely.

Preheat oven to 450F. Lay out phyllo dough and cover with a damp cloth to prevent it from drying out. Separate 1 sheet and place on a piece of parchment or wax paper. Brush phyllo with some of the melted butter. Top with second phyllo sheet, butter it, and keep repeating with remaining phyllo, buttering each time.

Place cooled apple mixture down center of the top of the stack of phyllo sheets. Roll phyllo around the apple mixture to form a log shape. Brush outside with butter and sprinkle evenly with cinnamon and sugar.

Transfer log and the parchment paper in a baking sheet. Bake seam side down until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Slice and serve with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

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