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Strudel, Pear and Amaretto - dairy, pareve

Posted by : Ruth Heiges

This is from the October 17, 1997, "Table Talk" column by  Evelyn Rose in
the Jewish Chronicle (England). I have not made it, but the concept of
using prepared fillo pastry in combination with cookie crumbs is intriguing. 

Remember that caster sugar is equivalent to superfine sugar. By
"ready-to-eat dried pears," I imagine she means the type that are
dehydrated but still soft (as opposed to the ultra-dried type you would
find in compote mixtures).

This recipe was suggested by the writer for Sukkot, but it seems
appropriate, to me, for Rosh Hashanah, as well.

Ruth

Pear and Amaretto Strudel
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Makes one large strudel serving 6-8. 
Best served the same day it is cooked, but can be reheated between courses.
Leftovers keep 2 days under refrigeration. 
Freeze cooked for 1 month, but pastry tends to crumble. 

For the filling: 
2 oz. (50g) toasted pecans
1-1/2 lb (675g) ripe dessert pears
3 oz. (75g) ready-to-eat dried pears
2 level Tablespoon caster sugar
2 Tablespoon Amaretto, peach brandy or orange juice
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 Tablespoon apricot conserve

For the pastry: 
1 x 275g pack of fillo pastry, defrosted
3-1/2 oz (100g) unsalted butter or margarine
100g (3-1/2 oz) pack macaroon, ratafia or Amaretti biscuits 
   crushed till the texture of coarse sand

Prepare the filling at least 30 minutes before you assemble the strudel. 

Chop the pecans coarsely, put in a small, non-stick frying pan and toss
over medium heat until they smell toasty. Reserve. 

Peel, quarter, then remove the cores of the fresh pears and slice 1/2 inch
(1 cm) thick. Slice the dried pears in strips as thinly as possible. Put
both kinds of pear into a large bowl and add all the remaining filling
ingredients except the nuts. Mix gently, but thoroughly, then leave for 30
minutes or more for the flavours to blend and some of the liquid to be
soaked up. 

When ready to bake the strudel, preheat the oven to gas 6 (400 F, 200 C).
Now add the nuts to the filling mixture.

For the strudel: you will need 3 layers of fillo pastry, each made up into
an 18-inch (45 cm) square. It is easier to roll up the strudel if you
assemble it on a teatowel, leaving the 2 inches (5 cm) of the towel nearest
to you clear of pastry. 

Make up the first square on the teatowel, brush it thinly but evenly with
the melted fat, then scatter with one-third of the crushed crumbs. Arrange
another square of fillo on top, brush and scatter as before, then repeat
with the top square. 

Arrange the filling in a long strip about 2-3 inches (5 -7.5 cm) wide, and
3 inches (7.5 cm) from the edge of the pastry nearest to you, leaving 1
inch (2.5 cm) of pastry clear of filling on either side.

Turn in the sides of the pastry to seal in the juices, then with the help
of the teatowel roll up into a strudel and place on a shallow greased
baking tray, join side down. 

Brush the top of the strudel with an even layer of the remaining fat. Make
8 diagonal slashes about 2 inches apart through the top layer of pastry. 

Bake for 35 minutes until crisp and brown. 

Reheats well in a moderate oven until warm to the touch.

To serve, sprinkle with icing sugar.

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