Special Feature: Products Sally Recommends
Makes 12 servings
1/3 cup dark seedless raisins
2 Tablespoons Cognac or brandy
2 cups thinly sliced tart apples (about 1 pound)
½ cup walnuts, chopped
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 Tablespoon grated lemon peel
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup fine dry bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup apricot preserves
1 Tablespoon Cognac or brandy
6 frozen phyllo leaves, thawed
¼ pound unsalted butter, melted
Soak raisins in 2 Tablespoons Cognac for about 2 hours. Combine raisin mixture, the apples, walnuts, granulated sugar, 2 Tablespoons melted butter, lemon peel, cinnamon and vanilla in a large bowl.
Cook and stir bread crumbs in 2 Tablespoons melted butter in a small skillet until light brown. Heat apricot preserves in a small saucepan over low heat until hot, stir in 1 Tablespoon Cognac.
Heat oven to 350 °. Layer phyllo dough on top of a kitchen towel, brushing each with butter. Spread entire surface with the hot apricot mixture, sprinkle with bread crumbs. Spoon apple mixture along longest end of phyllo in a 3 inch strip, leaving a 1 inch border.
Life towel, using it to roll dough over filling, jelly roll fashion from longest end closest to filling. Place strudel diagonally, seam side down, on lightly buttered cookie sheet, 15 ½ X 10 ½ X 1. Brush with butter.
Score strudel diagonally, through top few layers, into 12 equal sections. Bake until apples are tender and strudel is brown and crisp, 45-50 minutes. Cool to lukewarm; sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into servings.
©Sally Bernstein, 2005