German Dessertapple strudel

Apple Strudel
(Serves 8-10)

The basic apple—delicious on its own—is transformed into a mouth-lucious dessert.

2 lb. tart apples (peeled, sliced thin)
1 C raisins
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 C sugar
1 oz. dark rum (optional)
8 sheets filo dough
4 slices bread (dried and crumbled)
1/2 C butter (melted)

Just to clarify things: you're actually going to make 2 strudel rolls, each with 4 filo sheets. So you'll want to divide the filling equally between the 2 rolls.

Prep Work: thaw pastry according to directions. In a large bowl combine first 5 ingredients, mixing well. Finally, lightly grease a baking sheet.

Assembly: preheat oven to 400. Place one filo sheet on counter lengthwise.* Brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Layer a second sheet on top of the first, brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with crumbs. Do the third and fourth sheets the same way.

On the top pastry sheet, evenly spread 1/2 the apple filling. Leave a 2" margin around all the edges. Begin rolling the dough from the bottom edge upward, tucking in the sides as you go. You will form a pastry log. Brush log with melted butter and carefully place on greased baking sheet, seam-side down.

Make a second strudel log with the remaining melted butter, crumbs, and filling. Brush with butter and place on baking sheet beside the other strudel. 

Bake & Serve: bake 30-35 minutes till pastry is golden. Cool slightly before slicing. Serve with heavy, whipped, or ice cream.

* While you work with one filo sheet, keep others covered with a slightly damp towel.

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Tips & Glossary

Beets: how to peel and cook beets is a matter of personal preference. You can cut off the tops, peel them with a vegetable peeler and boil them. Another method: leave on about 1" of the tops, wrap them in foil, and bake for 1 hour in a 350 oven. Cool and use rubber gloves, or handle with a paper towel, to prevent hands from turning...well, beet-red. The skins will slip right off. Most cooks say baking- then-peeling is the tastiest way to cook beets.

Ginger: dried ground ginger is far more potent than freshly-grated from the root. Sweet dessert recipes call for ground powder. If you wish to use freshly grated ginger, use 6 times the amount of ground called for in the recipe.

Nutmeg: use small whole nuts and store them, tightly covered, in a dry dark area. Grate what you need using the smallest grating edge or grind in a food processor. What a difference from store bought ground nutmeg!

Wurst: German sausages— more types than you can shake a stick at. Here are several:
Bockwurst: smoked; with veal, chives & parsley.
Bratwurst: pale; with veal, pork, ginger & nutmeg.
Knockwurst: short & plump, smoked; with pork, beef & garlic.
Weisswurst: "white"; with veal, pork, cream & eggs.
• Wienerwurst: with beef, pork, coriander & garlic.
Frankfurter: smoked; with lean pork & bacon fat.

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