This strudel is a traditional favorite made easy using layers of phyllo dough. To change it up a bit, use different varieties of pears, stone fruits, and berries to substitute for the apples, depending on what is in season.
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Apple Strudel Preparation
Preheat the oven to 425 deg F.
Combine the apples with 1/2 cup brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and raisins in a mixing bowl.
Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large saute pan over high heat. Add half of the apples and saute until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Repeat with 2 more tablespoons of butter and the remaining apples.
Combine the remaining brown sugar with the breadcrumbs.
To assemble each strudel, lay a sheet of phyllo dough on your work surface with the longer edge of the dough parallel to the edge of the work surface. As you work, keep the unused sheets of phyllo covered with plastic wrap to keep them from drying out.
Brush the dough with melted butter and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the breadcrumb mixture. Top with another sheet of phyllo dough and repeat this process until a stack of 4 buttered phyllo sheets is formed.
Mound half of the apple pie filling (about 3 1/2 cups) along the bottom of the phyllo, leaving a 2-inch border at the edges. Beginning with the bottom edge, carefully roll up the dough and filling, being careful not to tear dough, and seal. Repeat with with remaining dough and filling to make a second strudel. Transfer the strudels seam-side down to parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush with the remaining melted butter, and score the dough on a bias to indicate 4 portions.
Bake in a 425 deg F oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Slice the jagged ends of each strudel. Slice each strudel into 4 portions and serve warm either just on its own or with caramel sauce and/or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
When I make this dessert, I sometimes find that I do not need all of the butter as indicated. You may want to just start with 1 cup of butter and see if that is enough, depending on your preference. Also, when filling your strudels, don't overfill or the dough can easily tear. If you have extra sauteed apples, as we sometimes do, they are a great side next to grilled porkchops the next day or a great topping for vanilla ice cream.
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