Apple, Mincemeat and Nut Strudel
This is a Christmas party pud which will serve 8 people very generously; perfect for a buffet lunch. Filo or strudel pastry is wonderful for storing in the freezer as you can just take out a few sheets as and when you need them (remember they take about 3 hours to thaw), and because there's no fat in it, you can happily re-freeze what you don't use. If you hate making pastry and want something very simple to make – this is it!
This recipe is taken from Delia Smith's Christmas
Begin by peeling and coring the apples and slicing them very thinly into a large bowl, sprinkling in the sugar as you slice. Then add the mincemeat, orange and lemon zest, spices and toasted pecan nuts and mix thoroughly.
In a small bowl combine the toasted almonds and breadcrumbs together. Then melt the butter.
Now you are ready for the pastry, so remove your first sheet from the pack and arrange it over the baking sheet; it will overlap it but that doesn't matter. Brush the entire sheet with melted butter, then sprinkle one third of the almond and breadcrumb mixture all over.
Put the second sheet directly over the first and repeat exactly. Then the third sheet followed by the butter and the last of the almonds and breadcrumbs.
Now put the last sheet of pastry on top of the rest, brush with butter, and place the apple and mincemeat filling all along the pastry lengthways in a band about 3½ inches (9 cm) wide, 3 inches (7.5 cm) from the edge of the baking sheet.
Now imagine you're making a giant sausage roll and begin by bringing one edge of the pastry leaves lengthways over the filling and the other edge up and over that.
Turn the whole thing over so that the pastry join is underneath and place the strudel fairly centrally on the baking sheet.
Now pinch the ends together and tuck them under, making a sausage about 14 inches (35 cm) long.
Brush the whole surface with the remaining butter and bake in the centre of the oven for 40-45 minutes or until it turns a golden-brown.
Cool the strudel for 15 minutes, then dust it thickly with icing sugar and serve cut into slices with, best of all, ice cream or chilled whipped cream.
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