Croatian Sour Cherry Strudel
I can’t get over how good this is. You don’t need to bother with fresh cherries; tinned, jarred or even frozen are perfect, particularly the Polish ones that are on sale in jars in supermarkets (and in a very good Polish shop in Bodmin).This is an excellent store-cupboard dish: tinned cherries, walnuts and frozen filo pastry.
- 2 x 600g jars pitted cherries, drained (drained weight about 600g), or 600g frozen cherries
- 75g golden caster sugar
- zest 1 small lemon
- 6 sheets filo pastry
- 60g butter, melted
- 50g walnuts, ground in a food processor or finely chopped
- icing sugar, to finish
- cream, ice cream or custard, to serve
Heat the oven to 200°C/gas 6. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
Drain the cherries very well in a sieve over a bowl. If you like, reserve the juices and reduce them down to make a sauce. Mix the drained cherries with the caster sugar and lemon zest.
On a clean tea towel, layer the filo sheets, brushing all but the last sheet with the melted butter, and leaving enough to brush the top when rolled. Spoon the cherry filling down one narrow side of the prepared filo sheets in a strip about 8–10 cm wide (about a third of the width of the sheet), leaving 2cm free at each end. Cover with the ground walnuts. Tuck the ends of the pastry in and then, using the tea towel, roll the strudel up.
Transfer to the lined baking sheet, with the pastry seam underneath. Brush with the last of the butter. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180°C/gas 4 and continue to bake for a further 20–30 minutes until crisp and golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting into 8 slices.
Dust with icing sugar. Serve warm or cold, with cream, ice cream or custard.