Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sentimental Strawberry Strudel: Daring Bakers’ May Challenge

This month the daring bakers set their sights on conquering strudel… And no, not the Pillsbury Toaster Pastries variety… I am talking authentic German strudel with paper thin dough.

So, the story behind the challenge name- Sentimental Strawberry Strudel

1) Sentimental- This is the last challenge I will be taking part of in my apartment in California. I became a daring baker in this less then equipped kitchen. I did things the hard way here, everything by hand. I did not have a food processor, standing mixer, or a variety of baking pans and decorating tips. Plus, my oven was the original in my apartment circa 1970. Even with all those challenges, I produced great food and desserts in that kitchen. I got to know my oven and the temperatures and times my creations needed to succeed in my oven. So, it is hard to leave, but I am ready to start baking in my new, state-of-the-art gas stove circa 2008 in Virginia.

2) Strawberry- The original recipe is for apple strudel. I wanted to be a little creative and inventive with the recipe, so apple was not the fruit of choice for me. I thought peaches would be yummy. I went to the store and not one fresh peach in sight. It is not peach season… darn… So, on the Saturday before Mother’s Day I went to the Strawberry Festival and decided to use fresh organic strawberries as the fruit in my strudel.

3) Strudel- The required language for the auto-checker so my completion of this challenge is counted: 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 Caf├ęs of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers.

The dough has to be stretched so thin that you can read through it.

Strawberry and cream cheese filling before rolled.

Strudel brushed with butter, prior to baking. It looks like a lamb loin wrapped in dough. Being a vegetarian, this look grossed me out.

The exploded strudel…

However, I was able to save a small portion.

My thoughts on this challenge:
I wish I had peaches or some other fruit that held its form better with pre-cooking. I boiled the strawberries on the stove with sugar and it became strawberry syrup, which I thickened into a pie filling consistency with cornstarch. But, when put in to the pastry it was too runny and broke open the side of the strudel. So, next time I would not pre-cook the strawberries and see if that cures the problem. Also, I think I added too much filling, so I could not wrap the filling in dough enough times to form a sturdy crust. It tasted great though and I cut some of the sweetness of the strawberry filling with a layer of cream cheese filling.
Please visit the Daring Kitchen for the challenge recipe and to see the creations of my fellow Daring Bakers.