Apples and cranberries scream Autumn. Wrap the colorful goodness up in a pastry shell and you have got an apple and cranberry strudel. The warm aroma of cinnamon and apples permeate the house. Take a bite and taste the tart cranberries dancing on your taste buds.
The last time I made a strudel was not long after we moved to Santa Rosa. We had just moved into a lovely apartment three stories high, imagine moving in and out of that place. The strudel recipe came from the same cookbook as the sweet chili chicken recipe that became a household favorite. That was the day my Pampered Chef stone baking sheet cracked down the middle. I heard a loud bang from the oven and when I went to investigate there was the strudel straddling a gaping chasm of stone. I also discovered that our apartment had an ant infestation and German cockroaches. Not a good omen. But, the war was quickly won and the dream bubble not completely deflated. I never wanted to look at another strudel again that is until I found this recipe for apple cranberry strudel.
I picked up puffy pastry by accident and was happy with the outcome. The box contains two sheets of dough so I ended up with two nice sized strudels. The puffy pastry is a lot less work and there is no layering and repetitious brushing involved.
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/2 cup boiling water
1-1/4 pounds Fuji apples (about 2 apples), peeled, cored and chopped
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for dusting
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
8 sheets phyllo dough
Heat oven to 375°F. Line a large baking sheet with nonstick foil, or coat with nonstick cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine cranberries and water. Let stand 5 minutes, then drain.
In a large bowl, combine apples, softened cranberries, honey, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Toss until combined.
Unroll phyllo on work surface; cover with damp towel. Separate one sheet and place on clean surface. Spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray, and dust with a little ground cinnamon. Place another sheet on top; coat with spray and dust with cinnamon. Repeat 6 more times, coating each with spray and dusting with cinnamon.
Spoon filling along a long side of phyllo, 3 inches in from edge, leaving 1 inch at either end. Fold both short sides (ends) over filling. Fold 3-inch-wide long strip over filling; roll up, jelly-roll-style. Place, seam side down, on foil-lined baking sheet. Spray with nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Bake at 375°F for 35 minutes, until nicely browned. Let cool on rack for at least 20 minutes. Slice with a serrated knife.