Warm “Milk-Cream” Strudel with Vanilla Sauce

Milchrahmstrudel

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes 2 strudels,

    12

    servings

Appears in

Here is one of the most typically Viennese of all strudels. It lends new meaning to the phrase “comfort food.” With minor variations, Milchrahmstrudel always starts with farmer’s-cheese-filled strudels baked briefly to set the pastry. A Royale (custard) is then poured around the strudels to create a warm dessert with an incredible interplay of crisp and creamy textures. Mrs. Bleuel of the Berghotel Tulbingerkogel in Mauerbach bei Wien, nestled in the Vienna Woods, shared her recipe with me. She stirs milk into a portion of the cheese filling to create the royale, and serves a vanilla sauce on the side.

This wonderful dessert doesn’t easily lend itself to today’s “make-ahead” mentality, as it was originally a hearty supper dish. I make it for good friends who love to watch me fill and roll the strudels in front of them just before we sit down to dinner. For that reason, I make this with store-bought filo.

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Ingredients

Cheese Filling

  • cups sugar
  • 10 tablespoons ( sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • cup golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons chopped candied citron, optional
  • 1 ⅔ cups sour cream
  • 1 pound farmer’s cheese, rubbed through a wire sieve

Custard (Royale)

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • Eight 12 X 17-inch sheets of filo dough, thawed or fresh
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Vanilla Sauce, for serving

Method

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 375°F. Lightly butter a 10 X 15-inch glass baking dish.
  2. To make the cheese filling: In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer on high speed, beat the sugar and butter until light in color and texture, about 2 minutes. One at a time, beat in the egg yolks. Beat in the flour, raisins, and citron, if using. Stir in the sour cream, then the farmer’s cheese.
  3. In a medium bowl, using very clean beaters, beat the egg whites until the whites form soft peaks. Stir about one fourth of the whites into the cheese mixture, then fold in the rest.
  4. To make the custard, transfer 2 cups of the cheese filling to a medium bowl and beat in the milk and eggs.
  5. You will be making two strudels, placing them side by side in the dish. To make the first strudel, place one filo sheet on a large kitchen towel (at least a 24 inche square), with the long side of the filo running horizontally. Using a soft pastry brush, drizzle and spread with some of the melted butter. Overlap with three sheets, buttering each sheet as it is laid down, to make a 17-inch square. About 1 inch from the bottom, spread half of the cheese filling in a thick log, leaving a 1-inch border at the sides. Using the towel as an aide, roll up the strudel. (The next step requires some nerve, but you will be surprised at the strudel’s strength and flexibility.) Lift the strudel and transfer to the dish, placing the strudel about 1 inch from the edge of the dish. Tuck in the ends of the dough to fit the dish. Brush with the melted butter. Repeat with the remaining four filo sheets, filling, and melted butter, positioning the second strudel about 1 inch from the other side of the dish.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes. Pour the reserved royale around (not over) the strudels. Bake until the strudel dough is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and cool slightly (or up to 1 hour). Serve warm, with the custard clinging to the strudel, and a bit of vanilla sauce spooned on the side.

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