Farmer’s Cheese and Raisin Filo Strudel

Topfenstrudel

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes

    12

    servings

Appears in

Not every café has a full-time baker. At many, it’s just Mama in the kitchen, and often Mama doesn’t feel like (or doesn’t have enough counter space for) hand-pulling strudel dough. This classic recipe layers store-bought filo dough with a Topfen filling in a pan to make a deep-dish dessert. Thanks to Gerda Hofer for this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 20 ounces farmer’s cheese
  • 2⅓ cups fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 10 tablespoons ( sticks) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • Twelve 12 X 17-inch sheets of fresh or thawed frozen filo
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish
  • Vanilla Sauce, optional

Method

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350°F. Lightly brush a 13 X 9-inch glass baking dish with a little of the melted butter.
  2. Using a rubber spatula, work the cheese medium bowl. Stir the bread crumbs and milk in another medium bowl.
  3. Beat the room-temperature butter in a large bowl with a handheld mixer on high speed until creamy. Add the sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla and beat until light in color and texture, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time. Mix in the farmer’s cheese, soaked bread crumbs, and sour cream.
  4. In another medium bowl, using very clean beaters, beat the egg whites at high speed until they form stiff peaks. Stir about one fourth of the whites into the cheese mixture, then fold in the remaining whites. Fold in the raisins.
  5. Place a filo sheet in the prepared pan, letting the excess dough hang over the sides. Using a soft brush, lightly brush the filo as best as you can with melted butter. Layer five more filo sheets, buttering each layer. Pour in the cheese mixture and spread evenly. Layer with 6 more filo sheets, buttering each layer and the top. Tuck the excess filo into the baking pan.
  6. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 1 hour. Cool for 30 minutes. Dust the top of the strudel with confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm or cooled, with the vanilla sauce, if you wish.