The tender dough used for this strudel reminds me of another of my favorite cookies: Rugelach. Actually, the dough is quite similar, only instead of cream cheese, it contains sour cream, and instead of being shaped into individual spirals, it is shaped into long, slim rolls. The incredible sour cream dough is easy to work with, but it bakes up fragile and flaky. It is not strong enough to use for a fruit filling, but is perfect for the rugelachlike filling of currants, nuts, and apricot preserves.
I discovered this very special heirloom recipe years ago when I stayed at the historic Mercersburg Inn in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. Sandy Filkowski, the innkeeper, had to get permission from her mother, Dorothy Thompson, who created this recipe many years ago and who has never before divulged it. It is a perfect treat for an afternoon tea or after dinner dessert to serve with coffee.
Plan Ahead The strudel is best made a minimum of 6 hours ahead.
|bleached all-purpose flour|
|fine sea salt||.|
|unsalted butter (70° to 75°F/21° to 23°C)|
|pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped|
One 15 to 12 inch cookie sheet, lined with parchment or aluminum foil
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the butter and sour cream and mash and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a ball.
Divide the dough in half, about
In a medium bowl, with a fork, stir together the pecans, currants, and cinnamon until well mixed.
On a floured pastry cloth with a floured rolling pin, or between floured sheets of plastic wrap, roll the first piece of dough into an 11 by 9 inch rectangle. Turn the dough two or three times and flour it lightly as necessary to be sure it does not stick.
Spread half of the apricot preserves (
Using the pastry cloth or plastic wrap to lift the dough along the long side, roll up the dough, brushing off the excess flour as you go. Flip the roll onto the lined cookie sheet, seam side down. Tuck the ends under
Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Place the second strudel next to the first, leaving at least 1 inch between them. With a small sharp knife, cut 3 or 4 small horizontal steam vents into the top of each strudel. Bake at once, or cover the strudels with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before baking.
Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack at the highest level and
In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon.
Set the cookie sheet on a wire rack. Cool completely.
The inside of the pastry has the best texture if allowed to sit for at least 6 hours before serving.
To serve, use a serrated knife to cut ½ inch diagonal slices. For a crisper texture, place the slices, cut side down, on an aluminum foil–lined cookie sheet and
Airtight: room temperature, 5 days; refrigerated, 8 days; frozen, 3 months.
Copyright © 2014 by Cordon Rose, LLC. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.