July 23, 2018
Strudel is a sweet layered pastry dish that gained popularity throughout the Austrian empire in the 18th century. The hardest part of the dish is perhaps the pastry, which needs to be extremely elastic in order to be stretched very thinly. Many things can go wrong with the pastry and it could tear for various reasons, some of them, such as the flour not being just right, beyond one’s control.
Luckily, premade pastry is available at most Slovenian stores – look for vlečeno testo. You won’t find it in the freezer where all the puff pastries are kept, but rather in the refrigerator section with milk, live yeast and other chilled foods. So, for this week’s recipe we made a shortcut and promise to return to homemade pastry with a štruklji recipe sometime in the near future.
There are various fillings for strudel in Slovenian cooking traditions, from apple to cottage cheese and various combinations of the latter with fruit, such as cherries and blueberries. We got some wild blueberries in the market so we decided to use those, as it is in fact our favourite version.
Ingredients (for 2 rolls)
1 pack of fresh pastry dough (vlečeno testo)
2-3 tbsp of sugar (to taste)
500 g of cottage cheese
400 g of cream cheese
½ kg of wild blueberries
1 pinch of cinnamon
100 g of butter
2 spoons of bread crumbs
The dough we bought (Pečjak) contained six separate sheets of dough. We used two for each of the two strudel rolls, one for the filling and the other for the butter and bread crumbs.
Place the sheets of dough on a cloth, which will be very helpful once you have to roll the strudel.
Prepare the filling first, simply mix together the cottage cheese, cream cheese, sugar, eggs and cinnamon. Taste and add more sugar if you’d like to make your strudel sweeter.
Spread half of the filling over the top layer of the dough.
Sprinkle half of the blueberries on the top of the filling.
Now roll one layer in, and as it will become difficult to continue doing so – since the roll will be much softer than, say potica – help yourself by lifting the cloth together with the remaining layers of dough, as seen in the pictures below.
Leave the rolled “loaf” on the other side of the cloth and prepare the butter and crumbs.
Melt the butter in a cooking pan, add the crumbs and fry a little until the mixture starts foaming.
Spread the butter and crumbs evenly over the second dough sheet and roll the loaf in it in the opposite direction, and remember to leave at least half for the second loaf of strudel (if, like us, you’re making two).
Place it in the baking tray when at the edge of the table. Spread some butter on the tray and sprinkle some bread crumbs over it, so that strudel will not stick to the surface.
Repeat the whole procedure one more time with the second loaf.
Brush some melted butter on top of the strudel, so that the baked crust will be crunchy.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and bake for about 45 minutes. Sprinkle with granulated sugar when hot or wait till it cools down and cover with sugar powder instead. Or you can just leave it as it is.
Serve cool, or at least not too hot.