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Autumn-Apple Strudel

Yield 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 6 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange rind
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 (7 1/4-ounce) package butter cookies, finely crumbled
  • 2 cups chopped pecans, toasted
  • 12 frozen phyllo pastry sheets, thawed
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • Powdered sugar
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple brandy or apple cider
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

How to Make It

  1. Pour 1 cup hot water over raisins; let stand 20 minutes. Drain raisins; set aside.

  2. Stir together apple wedges, 1 cup sugar, orange rind, and vanilla extract.

  3. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add apple mixture, and cook, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat; stir in raisins. Cool.

  4. Stir together cookie crumbs, remaining 1 cup sugar, and pecans. Set aside.

  5. Unfold phyllo, and cover with a damp towel to prevent it from drying out.

  6. Stack 4 sheets on a flat surface covered with wax paper, brushing each sheet with melted butter. Sprinkle with one-third crumb mixture. Repeat procedure 3 times with remaining phyllo, butter, and crumb mixture. Top with apple mixture, leaving a 2-inch border around edges. Fold in short sides 2 inches.

  7. Roll up, starting at long side. Place, seam side down, on a greased baking sheet. Cut 1/4-inch-deep slits, 1 inch apart, across top. Brush strudel with butter.

  8. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 10 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar.

  9. Beat cream at medium speed with an electric mixer until foamy; gradually add 1/4 cup powdered sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Stir in brandy and nutmeg. Serve with warm strudel.

  10. Note: For butter cookies, we used Pepperidge Farm Chessmaen Butter Cookies.