If you have never worked with phyllo dough, you are in for a great treat. It looks like it would be complicated, fussy and difficult—and is, in fact, quite easy. Phyllo is forgiving: it if tears, no worries—you can often simply place it down and continue using it. And best of all, phyllo dough always looks impressive and tastes wonderfully flaky and crisp.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- 4 golden delicious apples, 1 3/4 pounds peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon sugar divided
- 1/4 cup dried tart cherries chopped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 10 sheets phyllo dough (14 x 9-inch)
- 2 tablespoons cornflake crumbs
- sweetened whipped cream for serving optional
- Yield: 4 Servings
- Course: Dessert
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the apples and 1/4 cup of the sugar; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, 4-5 minutes. Stir in the cherries, vanilla extract, cinnamon, allspice and almond extract; cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender and the liquid has evaporated, 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat, transfer the mixture to a bowl and let cool 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons in a small saucepan over low heat.
Place 1 sheet of the phyllo on a work surface with the long edge closest to you. Brush lightly with butter and top with a second sheet of phyllo; brush it lightly with butter and sprinkle with cornflake crumbs. Repeat, again using two sheets of phyllo.. Top with a fifth sheet of phyllo and brush with the butter. Cut the phyllo down the center in half.
- Working with one half at a time, form the strudel: spread 1/4th of the apple filling over the phyllo, leaving a 1 ½ inch border clear all the way around. Fold each side in over the filling. Starting with the end closest to you, roll the bottom up to form a log; brush the outside lightly with the butter and sprinkle with the corn flake crumbs. Repeat with the other half, transfer to the prepared baking sheet and repeat until you have formed 4 logs. Sprinkle the strudels with the remaining ½ teaspoon of the sugar.
- Bake until the strudels are golden brown and crisp, 15-17 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool 10 minutes before serving. Dollop with whipped cream if desired.