posted by marleah 07-01-103 1:02 PM
Cream Cheese and Onion Strudel
Courtesy Elinor Klivans, 125 Cookies to Bake, Nibble and Savor
Makes @ 36 pieces of strudel
4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter (but have more on hand just in case)
4 C (3 medium) onions, thinly sliced (use Vidalia if you can)
6 oz cream cheese, softened
1 3/4 C (about 8 oz) grated Swiss cheese
1 tsp caraway seed*
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 sheets phyllo pastry (18 x 14 inches), defrosted if frozen
Prepare the cream cheese filling: Melt 1 T of butter in a medium frying pan over low-medium heat. Add the onions and cook for about 15 minutes until the onions soften, stirring often. Put the onions in a medium bowl and set aside to cool thoroughly. Use a large spoon to mix the cream cheese, Swiss cheese, and caraway seed into the onions. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Assemble the strudel: Melt the remaining 7 T of butter. Stack the phyllo sheets on a work surface and cover them with plastic wrap and a damp towel. Place one phyllo sheet on a work surface with the short side of the pastry facing you. Brush lightly with butter. Repeat the layering with 2 more phyllo sheets. Top with a fourth phyllo sheet.
Leaving a 1” plain edge along the bottom and sides of the pastry, spoon 1/3 of the cheese filling (about 3/4 cup) in a 1 1/2 “ wide strip along the bottom edge of the top sheet of pastry. Fold the sides of the pastry in to enclose the edges of the filling and roll up tightly. Brush the top lightly with melted butter. Place the strudel seam side down and use a sharp knife to mark 1” pieces on the top sheet of the pastry. (Use a ruler and cut lightly through the top few layers.) Repeat to form 2 more strips of strudel.
To freeze: Roll each strudel strip tightly in heavy aluminum foil. Label with date and contents. Freeze up to 3 months. Freezes and reheats beautifully!
To bake and serve: Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375. Unwrap as many strudel strips as you want to bake. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place the strudel, seam side down, on the baking sheet. If baking more than 1 strip, place the strips 2 inches apart. Bake until the top is golden, about 25 minutes for fresh and 30 minutes if frozen, reversing the baking sheet from front to back midway to ensure even browning. Cool the strudel 10 minutes on the baking sheet. VERY HOT! This needs to rest so the cheese doesn’t just ooze completely out of the pastry. Use a sharp knife to cut each marked piece into individual pieces. Serve warm.
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