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!
|4 Bramley apples, weighing about 1¼ lb (560 g) in total|
|8 oz (225 g) mincemeat|
|2 oz (50 g) pecan nuts, chopped and lightly toasted under the grill, or 2 oz (50g) walnuts (but do not toast them)|
|1 heaped tablespoon soft brown sugar|
|grated zest 1 orange|
|grated zest 1 lemon|
|½ level teaspoon ground mixed spice|
|½ level teaspoon ground cinnamon|
|2 oz (50 g) flaked almonds, lightly toasted under the grill|
|1 oz (25 g) white breadcrumbs|
|2 oz (50 g) unsalted butter|
|4 sheets filo or strudel pastry (from a defrosted 1 lb/ 450 g pack)|
|Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5, 375°F (190°C).|
|Need help with conversions?|
|You will also need a large heavy baking sheet 15 x 11 inches (37.5 x 28 cm), well greased.|
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.
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.
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.
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Rum-soaked fruit and bananas are combined in filo pastry for this wonderful strudel, which looks hugely impressive when served. Add some vanilla ice cream for a dessert to die for!
In this strudel I have used two cheeses: Roquefort, which is a sheep’s cheese, and to go with it is a mild goat’s cheese. The apple inside is not meant to cook through but to remain crunchy.
For Delia, this family recipe - made by both her grandmother and mother - brings back happy memories of freshly baked trays of mince pies on Christmas Eve.
This recipe is a lighter take on the Christmas pudding theme. You can make them a few hours ahead, and re-heat in a medium oven for about five minutes before serving.
Delia's mincemeat is, as you'd expect, totally brilliant. So make up some batches of this lovely mincemeat - you won't believe how easy it is and it puts anything you can buy well and truly in the shade!
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