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Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Vermont Strudel: Peach, Pear, Blackberry in Applesauce-Yogurt Pastry

Here's a delicious strudel you can make before breakfast.  It's full of fruit and nuts, and is wrapped in tender, applesauce-yogurt pastry.  Sourdough starter is used as a shortcut to give texture, character and loft to the dough.

This recipe uses a jar of peaches, a fresh pear, pecans and frozen blackberries to make a filling.  The pastry is tenderized and flavored by Thick Cinnamon Applesauce, Yogurt, butter, and cardamom.   I've done all the mixing right on the counter, using a rubber spatula; no electric mixing required.

Note on Sourdough Starter 

It's always so disappointing to get excited about cooking something, and then see the fateful words, "on Day One...".   If you keep Sourdough Starter on your counter, your options open up.  I use it to replace Time in many recipes; the starter is a developed, elastic, dough with active yeast and lots of flavor.  Those are the same qualities that time spent retarding dough and waiting will provide.  In this particular recipe, if you don't have sourdough starter, you could substitute a cup of simple pizza dough (no salt added).

Peach, Pear, and Blackberry Strudel with Applesauce-Yogurt Pastry

In Preparation:
  • Read through the recipe and gather ingredients.
  • Heat oven to 425F
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup thick cinnamon applesauce
5 T salted butter, melted
1 cup thick, active sourdough starter or yeasted pizza dough
3 T  potato flour

12 oz. jar of canned peaches, liquid reserved
2 T sugar
2 1/2 tsp Tapioca Starch (available in Asian markets)
1 fresh pear, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup frozen blackberries

Cream, to brush on before baking
Sparkling White Sugar (large-crystal decorating sugar)



1.  On a Silpat, or on the counter, make the flour into a circle.
Pour the sugar on top.  Sprinkle on the cardamom.
Put the yogurt in the center, and then put the applesauce on top of the yogurt:

2.  Using a rubber spatula or plastic scraper, Fold the flour from the outside of the circle up and into the center, until the mixture is mostly combined:

3.  Pour the melted butter on the mixture, and fold in with the spatula.  The Silpat will help you keep the butter from running off.  Just scrape it back in and fold it into the center, until incorporated:

4. Add the sourdough starter and fold in until incorporated.  Add the potato flour and fold in.  At this point, the dough should be tender, slightly sticky, but holding its shape well.

5. Make the Filling:
In a glass or ceramic bowl, combine the drained peaches (saving the liquid in another bowl),
the 2T sugar, and Tapioca Starch.  Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes or until thickened.
Stir, the mixture should be very thick.
Add the peach liquid back in and stir.  This will both cut the thickness and cool the mixture.
Then add in the chopped pear and stir.
The filling is ready to use.

6.  Roll out and Assemble the Strudel:
On a floured pastry mat or counter, roll out the dough to a large oval, approximately 14 in
across.  Make sure there is enough flour underneath so that it does not stick to the mat.
On the half of the oval facing you, place the filling, then sprinkle on the pecans and blackberries.

With a sharp paring knife, make slashes through the middle of the dough opposite you.  Do not cut all the way through to the outside of the dough.
Quickly lift and fold the other half of the dough toward you, covering the filling and forming a filled half-oval.  With a metal scraper, trim to shape, cutting off the excess, which will also seal the strudel.

7. Baking: 

Transfer to baking sheet (easy if you were working on a silicone mat, which can go on the sheet). Be careful in transferring, because the dough is delicate.  If you do not have a mat, use either a metal pizza peel or another cookie sheet to transfer the strudel. 

Brush cream on top of the strudel, then sprinkle with Sparkling White Sugar.
Bake at 425F for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.  

Serve warm and Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. beautiful!!!mouthwatering!
    I happened to have sourdough starter.....so I'm thinking about trying this recipe.


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