Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Vegan Eats (AKA FOOD): Cherry Strudel

I was not able to celebrate Mother's Day on the actual date, so this past weekend I visited my parents and rejoiced over being born and all. My mom and I cooked a lot, and we tried our hands at making vegan strudel for the first time.

Epic success, evidence:

Vegan cherry strudel

Strudel means whirlpool because of all the fancy-pants dough the innards are wrapped up in, but I like to think it means YUM.

First, phyllo is sensitive. Keep it happy by using it up quickly and keeping the remaining sheets safely located beneath a LIGHTLY damp paper towel. Don't saturate the towel, because then your phyllo will cling crazily to the towel.

Second, figure out how you want to wrap the phyllo. Everyone's recipe is all "fold short edges" which leaves us newbies going HUH? We laid the phyllo out with the longest part parallel to the counter's edge (horizontal, yho). On the last sheet, we placed the cherry filling vertically and rolled like a burrito, but I imagine you could do it horizontally too.

Finally, enjoy. This was not nearly as labor intensive as I thought it would be. It's not neurosurgery.

The recipe:
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/2cup sugar
3 cups pitted fresh sour cherries or 2 15-oz. cans water-packed tart cherries, drained
1/4 tsp. almond extract, optional
6 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
6 Tbs. vegan margarine, melted

1 .Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray.
2 . Stir together breadcrumbs, almonds, and sugar in bowl. Combine 3/4 cup breadcrumb mixture and cherries in separate bowl. Add almond extract (if using}.
3. Unroll phyllo, and keep under damp towel to retain moisture. Place 1 phyllo sheet on work surface, brush with margarine, and sprinkle with 2 Tbs. dry breadcrumb mixture. Top with second phyllo sheet. Repeat layering with remaining margarine, dry breadcrumb mixture, and phyllo sheets, leaving last phyllo sheet bare.
4.Brush 1-inch border of margarine around edges of phyllo stack. Spread cherry mixture in center of phyllo stack inside margarine borders, using hands to pack filling into smooth cylinder. Fold short edges of phyllo stack over filling, Carefully roll phyllo around Filling burrito-style into large log. Place seam-side down on prepared baking sheet. Brush strudel all over with melted margarine, and sprinkle top with remaining dry breadcrumb mixture. Bake 20 to 30 minutes, or until strudel is golden-brown, Cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe is from Vegetarian Times.

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