Friday, July 08, 2022


Growing up, this kind of miniature strudel was made mainly during spring and summer, any time that the family would get together, either for a Sunday lunch, or for a religious observation, such as slava. At times, they were made even smaller, quite handy to serve and enjoy, I have to admit.
This recipe is an adaptation of my paternal Grandmother’s strudel recipe which she used to make not only with cherries, but at times with sweet cherries, apples, quinces, any fruit that was available to her. I opted for cherries, as I do love tart desserts, especially with that tiny crunch from the brown sugar.
You can make the filo parcels as large or as small as you like, but do be mindful that the smaller parcels will keep their shape slightly better. If it is too wide and flat, it will be even flatter once cooled. Spoken from experience.
Although you can serve them with a dusting of icing sugar, they really need no further adornment. Just let them cool down slightly, and thoroughly enjoy with a cup of coffee.

500 grams filo pastry sheets, 16 pieces
700 grams fresh cherries, pitted
30 grams semolina
100 grams Turbinado sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
150 millilitres tepid water
75 millilitres vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Place the pitted cherries into a strainer, and set them aside. This will remove some of the liquid they release. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, semolina, and cinnamon, and set it aside. In another medium bowl, mix together the oil, water, and vanilla, as this will be used to brush filo sheets. Lay one filo sheet flat on the work surface, brush it generously with the oil mixture, and then place a portion of the cherries in the centre of the sheet.
Sprinkle the semolina mixture on top, and fold the sheet into a nice, small parcel. Repeat this with the rest of the filo sheets and cherries, and arrange them on a large baking sheet, lined with baking parchment. Brush each of them with the remaining mixture of water and oil, and bake them immediately in a preheated oven, at 200˚C, for about 20 minutes. Once they are baked, remove them from the oven, let them cool down on the baking sheet for about 20-30 minutes, and serve. Yields 16 servings.

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