I almost didn't share them with you. But then I quickly came to my senses. What was I thinking? Not sharing because I wasn't happy with what they looked like? Please.
That's the perfectionist in me.
Now, if they hadn't tasted good...that would have been an entirely different story. But guess what? They were um...incredible. After seeing what they looked like I started judging immediately. I hesitantly put a dollop of brown sugar cream on top, grabbed a fork with a defeated looking slouch, cut a less than mediocre sized slice, and put it to my lips.
My eyebrows raised, my eyes widened, I went for another bite. I was blow away. The fruit was soft, the phyllo was crispy and the cream sealed the deal.
And guess what? It's pretty darn healthy too. Fruit, a small amount of brown sugar, phyllo (instead of puff pastry), and a yogurt based cream? Yep. That goes down as healthy in my book. And therefore you're in the clear with your healthy eating ways to go make this...right now.
-Adapted from the Rancho La Puerta Cookbook
Makes: 2 Strudel, 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
5 tablespoons packed brown sugar, divided
3 tablespoons skinned and ground hazelnuts
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 firm pears, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice - I used bosc
1/3 cup dried fruit - I used figs but any dried fruit will do!
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 package phyllo dough, thawed according to package directions
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup greek yogurt or sour cream
powdered sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°
- In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar, the hazelnuts (which I ground with my makeshift mortar and pestle), and cinnamon.
- In a medium bowl, combine the pears, dried fruit, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar.
- Make sure and read the directions on the phyllo dough (because it can be tricky!) and then lay out 1 sheet of phyllo. Make sure to cover the rest with a damp cloth or plastic wrap while you're working.
- Brush the sheet of phyllo with melted butter, and evenly sprinkle a small amount of the ground nut mixture over the top.
- Top with a second sheet of phyllo, squaring the edges. Brush with butter and sprinkle again with the nut mixture. Top with a third sheet. Place half of the fruit mixture across the short end, leaving a 1-inch margin on the three outer edges.
- Fold the phyllo over the fruit once, tuck in the ends, and continue to roll all the way up. Set seam-side down on a baking sheet.
- Repeat 4-7 for a second strudel. (Any leftover phyllo should be rerolled in it's original plastic, wrapped in parchment or wax paper and then wrapped with plastic wrap and placed in the refrigerator for later use.)
- Bake the strudel for 40 minutes or until the filling is soft and the phyllo is crisp and golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes.
- Make the Brown Sugar Cream by combining 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar and the yogurt, stirring until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Cut the strudel into 1-inch-thick slices. Dust with a little powdered sugar, if desired. Serve the sauce on top or on the side.