NECTARINE & BLUEBERRY STRUDEL by Right-Brain Joanna
Hopefully you have mastered working with phyllo pastry so do enjoy creating all kinds of fare. Here I have used a nut oil instead of traditional butter to accommodate vegan friends as a selection of nut oils crowd a shelf in my ‘fridge.
This recipe can handle any fruit, I have even been known to make the Thanksgiving leftovers, such as turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce or whatever you’ve got, into a savoury strudel.
Serves 8 generously
4 oz/115g blueberries
1 tbsp/12g sugar
2 tsp/ 4g ground ginger
12 sheets phyllo pastry
1tbsp almond oil (or neutral oil such as sunflower oil plus a few drops of almond extract)
2 tbsp/30 mL maple syrup
1/3c/115g ground almonds
1/2 c/30g bread crumbs (or ground up cake or cookie crumbles)
- Wash and zest the lemon, squeeze the juices and put all into a medium boil.
- Slice nectarines into the lemon and toss to coat.
- Add the blueberries, sugar and ginger (Marilyn would use at least another tablespoon sugar – see her comments) and toss the mix.
- Prep the phyllo with the long side in line with the counter edge and begin with the mix of almond oil and maple syrup (instead of butter) building the phyllo layers as you go. One or two of the sheets could be placed a bit off-set to both ends of your pile, giving you some pastry to fold in for holding your contents.
- Place the crumbs and ground nuts about an inch/2.5cm from the edge closest and pile all along as evenly as possible.
- Pile the fruit overtop and gently roll up, tucking the ends underneath.
- Place the strudel on a parchment tray and slash the top to mark where you want to cut for service.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on top.
Tip: To ensure the bottom stays a bit crispy take off the parchment and on to a cooling rack as soon as you can. This is key for the best results. If you have a pizza stone put the strudel on its parchment, right on to the stone, just as you would for bread or pizza.
Marilyn’s comments: I was raised in the USA so my taste is a bit sweeter than Joanna’s, but not as much as America’s current over-the-top obsession with icky-SWEET that has evolved. I’d add a quarter cup of sugar to the filling and use butter.