Caribbean Banana and Raisin Strudel
Cheats the world over should regularly offer thanks for strudel pastry. Firstly, it is ready to use, so there’s no tedious rolling out and secondly, all that buttery, wafer-thin crunchiness is guaranteed. This particular recipe will make people think you’ve taken lots of trouble to make it. Served warm from the oven with icy-cold vanilla bean ice cream, it is an absolute wow!
This recipe is from Delia's Happy Christmas. Serves 6
Think ahead here, because first you need to soak the raisins and orange zest in the rum, so pick a moment and get this organised – a couple of hours ahead would be great.
Next, drain the raisins and orange zest in a sieve over a bowl to catch the juices and press and squeeze to extract as much juice as possible.
When you are ready to make the strudel, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350ºF (180ºC) and pop the pecan nuts on to a baking sheet to toast for 6 minutes – set a timer to make sure you don’t burn them. Then, remove them and pulse them in a processor to chop them small.
While they are toasting, melt the butter.
Now on the baking sheet, spread out a piece of baking parchment. Follow this with a sheet of filo, covering the others with a clean tea cloth. Brush the filo pastry all over with melted butter. Sprinkle over a quarter of the nuts.
Repeat this process three times, making sure you have not used up all the butter.
Now, peel the bananas and lay two of them lengthways end to end about 2 inches (5 cm) from the edge of the pastry. Now place the other two bananas directly next to them, towards the middle.
Now scatter the raisins and zest over the bananas. The strained rum juice now needs to be whisked into the crème fraiche and spooned over the bananas.
Then use the baking parchment to help you roll the filo over the bananas, and then over again. What you need to end up with is the seam and the ends tucked in underneath. Discard the baking parchment.
Now, brush the rest of the butter all over and bake on the centre shelf of the oven at the same temperature for 40 minutes.
If you want to, you can make the strudel in advance and bake it when you want to serve it.
Or I sometimes cook it in advance and whack it back in the oven to warm at the same temperature for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle with the icing sugar before serving.