Strudel—Updated version: Strudel without the stretch dough
This is not an instant recipe. As our grandmother would say, “why are you in such a hurry?” So, read carefully the instructions on the puff pastry box. They do not lie on the box. They want you to buy it again. It really takes 40 minutes to defrost the puff pastry on the kitchen counter.
1 package puff pastry sheet dough
(Pepperidge Farm brand is kosher and pareve and comes in a 1# package)
10 ounces of pitted prunes, a little less than 2 cups.
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup grape or plum jam (Smuckers makes a red plum jam)
zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
1 tablespoon orange juice
3/4-1 cup chopped walnuts
Egg wash (1 egg yolk mixed with a little water)
cinnamon and sugar
Combine all the filling ingredients. You can use a food processor for the first five ingredients and add the walnuts by hand.
Defrost the pastry sheets-there are two in the box. Lay one sheet on a floured surface or floured wax paper. Roll out to 16”x12”. Spoon half the filling onto the bottom half of the pastry sheet. Leave 1” at the bottom so the filling doesn’t seep out. Roll up like a jelly roll. Place on a greased cookie sheet seam side down. Pinch the ends together. Repeat the whole process with the second pastry sheet and the rest of the filling.*
Brush the tops with the egg wash. Top with cinnamon and sugar. With a knife cut diagonal slits in the top of the pastry.
Bake @375º 30-35 minutes.
Cool on rack on the cookie sheet for 20 minutes.
Slice and serve or freeze for an emergency.
* So you should know... if these directions are too confusing, you can watch a video of how to roll the puff pastry on YouTube. Can you believe it??
Grandma was not an accomplished baker, but she was a cooking whirlwind. One only had to add up the girth of her three sons in her cooking heydays for an objective assessment. Every family meal was an opportunity to make everyone’s favorite dish. It was only kosher cooking that limited these festive meals so that dairy favorites could not be served alongside meat favorites. But wouldn’t a chicken be lonely without an accompanying meat dish? Shouldn’t there also be red snapper next to blintzes?