May 27, 2009

DB Rhubarb-Strawberry Strudel

The May Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Linda of make life sweeter! and Courtney of Coco Cooks. They chose Apple Strudel from the recipe book Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers.

My blogging is still on the back burner but I couldn't let this month's Daring Baker challenge pass me by. I waited until this past weekend when my parents were up for their first look at our new house and then recruited my mom to lend a hand.

For the filling I used local rhubarb fresh from the farmer's market with strawberries that were left over from a previous meal. I spiced the strudel with Penzey's ground ginger and the flavor came through beautifully in the roasted rhubarb but got lost a little once the strawberries were added. I might ditch the strawberries next time. Per my mom's suggestion I kept the filling tarter than I normally would have but I was glad I listened to her suggestion. It made the finished strudel lighter.

The dough wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. My biggest mistake was over-flouring the tablecloth. This came to my notice because after baking the top had a powdery look that I could have easily avoided by brushing off the extra flour from the rolled dough before brushing it with the melted Earth Balance (my butter substitute in this recipe). The strudel dough was thin, flaky and tender but didn't have the crispy crackle that you get with phyllo. I'd like to try this recipe with less oil or a homemade phyllo dough recipe because I missed that sharp crackle.

Thanks to Courtney and Linda for a great challenge! Making strudel dough from scratch was a fun project. We finally have our internet access settled at the new house and things are getting less hectic. However, with the woods surrounding the new house to explore and all the gardening I've been doing (and all I want to do next) I'm not finding time for the computer. I'm currently trying to find the perfect balance of all the things I want to do. I will be back blogging and there will be pictures of the house and the new kitchen in time. See the end of this post for a link to more pictures of what I've been up to on my new personal blog, Living on Dog Hill.

Rhubarb-Strawberry Strudel Filling
This is my spring-inspired filling for strudel. If you are interested in making the strudel dough from scratch take a look at the apple strudel recipe on Coco Cooks. Or you can cheat and use store bought phyllo dough. This amount of filling should work well for two phyllo strudels following my directions for Apple Phyllo Strudel. This is a tart filling, if you like your rhubarb sweeter please increase the amount of sugar.
Makes ~2 1/2 cups of filling, enough for one large from-scratch strudel or two smaller phyllo strudels

4 cups cut rhubarb, 1/2 to 3/4 inch pieces
3/4 cup sugar, more if desired
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 cups diced strawberries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon corn starch

-Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
-Wash, cut and then measure your rhubarb. Place the rhubarb, sugar and ginger in a baking pan with at least 1 inch high sides. I used an 8"x14" glass cake pan. Toss the ingredients together and then spread the rhubarb in a single layer.
-Bake the rhubarb for 15 minutes. Remove and cool until close to room temperature, ~15-20 minutes.
-Toss the diced strawberries, vanilla and cornstarch in with the cooked rhubarb. Place this mixture in a colander over a bowl for 10 minutes to draw out some of the juices from the strawberries and collect the juices.
-Take the collected juices and bring them to a boil in a small saucepan. Once the juice come to a boil and thicken carefully fold the cooked juices back in with the rhubarb and strawberries. Do this gently so that the pieces of rhubarb remain mostly whole.
-The filling is now ready to place in the strudel dough.

-For the complete recipe for Daring Baker Apple Strudel challenge, visit Courtney at Coco Cooks or Linda at make life sweeter!
-Or take a look at the book that was their inspiration, Kaffeehaus by Rick Rodgers
-Visit the Daring Kitchen to join in and take a look at the Daring Baker Blogroll for the other versions of this month's recipe.

Rolling out the strudel dough
The finished strudel
Spring on Dog Hill on my new personal blog, Living on Dog Hill