Peach And Blueberry Strudel

I got this recipe some years ago from the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, where every year is held the best workshop for food writers I’ve ever attended. Beautiful place! Anyway, what captures me about this is the contrast of nuttiness and fruitiness from the ingredients. It tastes more fresh than sweet. This looks like a difficult recipe, but the only hard part is rolling it up.

  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces
  • 3/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 peaches, cut into 1/4 ” dice
  • 1/2 pint fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 6 sheets phyllo dough
  • 6 Tbs. melted butter
  • Peach chantilly cream:
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 2 Tbs. peach juice
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tbs. confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1. Chop the pecans in a food processor. Add the oats and chop some more, to about the texture of grits. Add sugars, nutmeg and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Process briefly to combine thoroughly. Set aside.

2. Combine diced peaches, blueberries, the other 1 tsp. of cinnamon, and the vanilla, and toss to mix well.

3. Place one sheet of phyllo on a clean counter. Brush lightly with melted butter to cover the entire sheet. Top with a second sheet of phyllo and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle about one-fifth of the pecan mixture generously over the top.

4. Add another sheet of phyllo, butter it, and top with the pecan mixture, and keep the layers going to the last sheet of phyllo is used.

5. Spread the fruit mixture evenly over the top. Leave a one-inch border on the long side farther from you. Sprinkle the fruit with all but about 2 Tbs. of the pecan mixture.

6. All right, the hard part. Starting with the long end closer to you, roll the assembled pastry into a log. All the fruit must be completely enclosed.

7. Cut a piece of baking parchment big enough to fit the strudel. Place the strudel seam side down on a baking pan lined with the parchment. Brush the tops and sides of strudel with melted butter and sprinkle with remaining pecan mixture.

8. Make shallow cuts with a serrated knife along the top of the strudel, where you’ll want to cut it after it’s baked. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 25- 30 minutes. If the top browns quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil for the last five to ten minutes.

9. Remove and let cool. Cut into slices with serrated knife. Serve warm or room temperature with peach chantilly cream or vanilla ice cream.

10. To make the peach chantilly cream. beat the cream until it begins to thicken. Add the peach juice, vanilla seeds and sugar and continue to whisk until soft peaks form.

Serves six to eight.

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