Sour Cherry Strudel Recipe- Croatian Fil za Strudlu s Tresnjama ili Visnjama

Makes 12 to 15 servings of Croatian Sour Cherry Strudel

Prep Time:  60 minutes

Cook Time:  45 minutes

Ingredients:

****Strudel Dough****

1/2 cup of lukewarm water

– 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar

– 3/4 teaspoon of salt

– 2 cups of all-purpose flour

– 1 tablespoon of cold butter

– Melted butter

– Flour for rolling

****Cherry Strudel Filling****

8 cups of washed, stemmed, pitted sour cherries

– 2 teaspoons of grated lemon rind (optional)

– 1  1/2 to 2 cups of sugar or to taste

– 3/4  cup of ground (not chopped) walnuts

– Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Preparation:

1.  In a small bowl, mix water, vinegar and salt.  Place flour in a large bowl and cut the butter in as for pie dough.  Add water mixture and stir by hand for about 5 minutes or until dough becomes smooth.

2.  Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, adding as little extra flour as possible.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.

3.  Meanwhile, prepare the cherry filling by combining the cherries, lemon rind (if using) and sugar in a large bowl.  Set aside.

4.  Cover a large table with a tablecloth (it will become stained from the fat in the dough, so use and old tablecloth).  Sprinkle the cloth generously with flour.  Place the dough in the center of the cloth and brush it with melted butter.  Roll the dough to an 1/8-inch thickness.

5.  Begin stretching the dough either over the backs of your hands or palm-side up, whichever works best for you.  Work quickly, continually lifting the dough and stretching it by pulling your hands apart until it is almost paper thin and drapes over the sides of the table.  Using kitchen shears, trim off the thicker outer edges of the strudel dough.

6.  Place rack in middle of oven and pre-heat to 4oo degrees.  Brush the dough liberally with melted butter.  Place the cherry filling along one long edge in a 3″ wide strip, 2 inches from the edges.  Sprinkle ground walnuts over the filling.

7.  Using the tablecloth to roll the strudel away from you, jellyroll fashion, until it is completely rolled.   Brush the top of the strudel with melted butter.  Cut into sections that will fit your baking sheets and tuck in ends of strudel.

8.  Place parchment on baking sheets and transfer strudel sections to them, seam-side down.  Bake 10 minutes,  reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake 20 to 25 minutes more or until strudel is crisp and golden.

9.  Remove from oven, cool slightly and then cut on an angle into slices.  Dust with confectioners’ sugar.  You may also cool completely to make the slicing easier and then rewarm in a microwave.  Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve as is or with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.

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