Strudel is welcome on any table at any time of year, be it with a cup of tea or as a delicious dessert with lashings of custard poured over it. So, why not bring it out for the Christmas festivities, dress it up like the tree, all fancy for the holidays I thought and here it is, and I should say it has quickly become a family favourite.
The filling is based on the traditional recipe but with a lovely warm Christmas feel to it with mincemeat, warm spices, sharp apple, almonds and marzipan, practically Christmas in pastry.
The Christmas strudel is quite easy to make with the only tricky bit possibly being the rolling up, but think of it like a Swiss roll, and you will be fine.
The strudel will keep for a day or two in an airtight box, but not much longer. If it does feel a little stale pop it into a hot oven and warm it through and serve as a pudding.
- 3 tbsp. mincemeat (good quality Christmas)
- 55 g./2 oz. marzipan (natural-colored, crumbled)
- 3 tbsp. almonds (blanched, roughly chopped)
- 3 tsp. mixed spice
- 55 g./2 oz. caster sugar
- 4 apples (Granny Smith, or similar, sharp, crisp apples)
- 2 lemons (juice and zest)
- 2 tbsp. fresh white breadcrumbs
- 4 sheets filo (ready made pastry)
- 55 g./2 oz. butter (melted and cooled)
- Garnish: powdered sugar (icing sugar, for dusting)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C
- Place the mincemeat into a roomy baking bowl, add the marzipan chunks, the almonds, mixed spice and sugar. Stir well.
- Peel, core and chop the apples into small pieces, add to the bowl with the zest and lemon juice and stir again.
- Blitz the breadcrumbs in a food processor until finely chopped, add to the bowl. Stir again.
- Using a little of your melted butter, grease a baking tray.
- Take one sheet of filo, lay it onto a sheet of baking parchment and brush all over with a little of the melted butter. Lay on another sheet of filo and continue the buttering until all the filo is used making four layers.
- Spoon the Christmas mixture onto the filo in a central line down the length of the filo, leaving a 2.5cm (1in) border at both ends. Fold the short sides on to the apples, then fold one of the long sides over the filling and roll up like a Swiss roll using the parchment to help you.
- Finally, brush the top with butter and bake until golden and cooked around 20 to 30 mins. The pastry should be golden and crisp.
- Serve hot or cold heavily dusted with icing sugar.