Saturday, February 5, 2011

Cherry & Apple Phyllo Strudel

Granny smith apples
Fresh cherries
Brown sugar
Phyllo dough
Graham crackers
Some sort of whipped or clotted cream would be nice but isn't required

Someone once asked me to do a dessert recipe. Unfortunately, I fucking hate baking and most desserts require a great deal of it. Why do I hate baking? For me, it's just too goddamn passive. You mix some shit, pour it into a pan, toss it in an oven and hope for the best. I like to cook actively... stirring and draining and flipping shit keeps me coming back for more. I like watching stuff change into other stuff. However, I've never been one to disappoint a pretty girl (and I mean that exactly the way you think I mean that) so here's a dessert with all the technical movement of a complicated sauce and all the goodness of those frilly little cupcakes all the morons are so fucking enamored with. Seriously, what the hell is up with cupcakes? They're just smaller than average cakes for Christ's sake. They actually have shops that make and sell NOTHING but cupcakes. What the fuck kind of ludicrousness is that? I couldn't open a sandwich shop and only sell club sandwiches, could I? You're goddamn right I couldn't. Anyway, here comes some strudel, but first:

A Word About Phyllo
It's just called phyllo, not phyllo dough. Phyllo is a paper thin Baltic/central Asian pastry that can be used in pretty much anything. It's the Swiss army knife of pastry... you can use it in desserts, main courses, snacks, and to repair your 1970 Ford Ranchero sedan. People tend to make a big deal about phyllo being "difficult to work with". In fact, when I told a friend I was making something with phyllo, they were inordinately impressed with my cooking skills. Don't buy into the hype: phyllo isn't difficult to work with assuming you're not a goddamn moron. The only thing you have to remember is to be careful with it and, if you start with frozen phyllo, thaw it very slowly (over 24 hours in your ice box) or it'll fall apart on you like your 1970 Ford Ranchero sedan.

1. Peel and slice 4 granny smith apples into workable chunks. I suck so hard at peeling and slicing apples, you have no idea. It takes me forever and I always drop big chunks of perfectly workable apples on the disgusting kitchen floor. Add your apple pieces to a pot.

Now, stem and pit your bag of cherries and add them into the pot with the apples. To properly pit a cherry, just impale and roll it down the blade of a knife until you've sliced entirely around the pit, then pull the two halves apart and dig it out with your thumb. If you're still having trouble pitting your cherries, go get a grown up and have them help you.

2. Add in 1.5 cups of brown sugar and a few shakes of cinnamon and begin cooking over medium heat. It'll take about 12 minutes for the molasses in the brown sugar to cook down and the fruit to get tender. While you're waiting...

3. Take sleeve of graham crackers and crush them. I find that doing this in the sleeve makes them easier to work with later.

4. Now that your apple/cherry mixture is nice and soft and fucking delicious smelling...

get out a baking sheet and your phyllo. Spread some aluminum foil or wax paper on your baking sheet and then carefully lay out two sheets of pastry. Melt some butter in the microwave and carefully brush the phyllo with it (use back and forth strokes if the sheets are sliding all over the place).

Add on a nice helping of crushed graham crackers.

5. Now, lay out another two sheets of phyllo atop that one, brush them with butter, and add MORE graham crackers. Then do it again. You now have a three layer phyllo and graham cracker sandwich. Now spoon your apple/cherry mixture over the top (leave a bit in the pot for use later).

6. Now to the most difficult part of the whole process: rolling it up. You want to very slowly roll your strudel up in the aluminum foil or wax paper (making sure not to roll any of the foil/paper inside the pastry like a dumb shithead) making something resembling a large, bleeding burrito. This takes some practice and you'll probably fuck it up... like so.

Nice big tear you've got there. How does it feel to be dumber than things that completely lack intelligence? Well, you've ruined the whole fucking thing so you might as throw that shit out and go cry on your bed about how disappointed your mother must be in siring such a miserable fuck up. You've shamed yourself and your race as a whole assuming you aren't white (whites were shamed years ago). If you'd rather not take your licking like an honorable person and would prefer being a deceptive little fuckhead, just take another sheet of phyllo and wrap it around the outside of your pastry. Tada! No one will ever know how much you suck. Except me.

7. Go back in time and preheat your oven to 350 (or read the entire recipe in advance like an intelligent person.) Brush the remaining melted butter over the top of your strudel and pop it in the oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. You may or may not smell a slight bit of burning while it's cooking... that's just because we didn't clarify the butter because fuck clarifying butter.

8. Slice, dress with some of the leftover cherry/apple mixture and/or whipped/clotted cream and serve. Man, did you see how I worked in three slashes in that last sentence? Plate and enjoy.


  1. "Fuck clarifying butter." YES. Finally, someone who understands!

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  3. ohmygod!
    dude, my freakin cheeks hurt from laughing.
    You're fuckin brilliant!

    I can't wait to try this recipe, it appeals to the Turk in me...
    awesome job

  4. This looks pretty good... there is a very warm spot in my heart for all things pasrty.