My sister-in-law has the sort of apple tree that dreams are made of. Its huge bounty gleams, juicy and sweet from between the leaves, and the children’s swing hang from its boughs in a suburban idyll.
Or so it would appear to me. Fed up of crumble and with a freezer bursting with puree, I saw her hand bag after bag of beautifully imperfect and naturally blemished, gorgeous apples to any neighbours who would have them. (Note to Mr Supermarket Buyer: blemished apples aren’t scary, uniform, highly-sprayed apples are). Gladly, I took three bags myself, as she headed out, hardhat in hand, to collect more apples from the garden as they fell around her like tasty missiles threatening any child who dared swing.
This simple strudel is so easy and quick to make that it’s a nice change from crumble. For the vegetable in this recipe, I’ve added in butternut squash, along with some light spices, almonds and dried cranberries.
- 6 sheets of filo pastry (standard 480mm x 255mm)
- 70g unsalted butter, melted
- 50g flaked almonds
- icing sugar, to dust
- 3 cooking apples, peeled, cored, quartered and sliced
- 100g squash, such as butternut, peeled and thinly sliced
- zest and juice of ½ lemon
- 2 tablespoons light muscovado sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 20g flaked almonds
- 3 tablespoons dried cranberries (or raisins)
- Preheat oven to 190C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- To make the filling, combine the apples, lemon zest and juice, sugar, spices, dried cranberries and almonds.
- Brush one sheet of filo with a little melted butter, repeating with the other sheets and layering them on top of each other.
- Spread the filling along the long edge of the pastry and roll up, tucking in short ends to form long roll. Place seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Brush with the remaining butter and press the flaked almonds over the strudel.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until crisp and golden. Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm or cold.