Apple Strudel in Phyllo Dough

sugared strudelPhyllo (sometimes spelled filo) means leaf in Greek and the sheets of dough are as thin as leaves. I buy it frozen in Middle Eastern markets and if I’m lucky it also shows up in Berkeley Bowl and other large markets. I use it to make Spanakopita, and there’s usually enough leftover sheets to make Apple Strudel for dessert. I caramelize the apples before rolling them in the phyllo dough.

Ingredients: (makes 3 rolls)

  • 3 medium apples (Gala or other cooking apples are good)
  • 6 Tb butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tb cinnamon
  • 2 tsp lemon zest, from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tb bread crumbs or 2 slices of toast, torn into pieces
  • 1/3 – 1/2 package phyllo dough (9 sheets), defrosted
  • 1 Tb powdered sugar with a few shakes of cinnamon for topping if desired

Directions: Preheat oven to 375′

Peel and core apples and chop them finely.

If you don’t have breadcrumbs,  place the torn toast in the blender. Run on high and you will have made breadcrumbs! Divide them in half.

apples for strudel

Melt butter in a large skillet. Pour out 1/4 cup and set aside. Add apples to the skillet and stir until they are coated. Stir in cinnamon and brown sugar and cook until the liquid is thick and sticky. Stir in 1/2 the breadcrumbs, pecans, lemon juice and zest. Remove from heat.

Divide the remaining breadcrumbs into 3 groups.

breadcrumbs on phylloPlace 1 sheet of phyllo on a pastry board or clean surface. Lightly brush with melted butter. (If the butter has thickened, reheat it in the microwave.) Place another sheet and repeat, and then a third sheet. Sprinkle 1/3 of the breadcrumbs in a rectangle at about 2 inches from the sides and top.

filling in phylloScoop 1/3 of the apple mixture and spread on top of the breadcrumbs. Fold the top and sides over. Then roll it up by folding it over the apple filling.

strudel rolled up and ready for oven

Brush the butter over the sealed bottom and place it on a parchment lined baking sheet. Butter the top and sprinkle a little cinnamon on it.

Let bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack before slicing. You can sift a little powdered sugar with a dash of cinnamon on top just before serving.

 

 

 

 

Steel yourself for Slow Cooked Steel Cut Oats with Caramelized Apples and Blueberries

december-4-2016-steel-cut-oats-in-bowl-with-walnuts

Breakfast in Bed? No problem. Make this nutritious apple and cinnamon scented oatmeal the evening before in your rice cooker or crock pot. It will be ready for you when you wake in the morning and your kitchen will smell like apple pie! This is the best way to wake up!

Note: If you make this before bed, it’s best to start it at least an hour before hitting the sack. Once the oatmeal thickens, stir well to prevent lumps.

Steel cut oats have the most nutrition and lowest glycemic index of all the oatmeal products.  I add flax seed, oat bran and chia seeds to further boost the nutrition, and sprinkle with walnuts for extra protein. My recipe uses only a tablespoon of brown sugar, unlike most of the slow cooked steel cut oats recipes you find on the web. The raisins, apples, and cinnamon bring a natural sweetness to the cereal. Of course you can add more brown sugar or maple syrup when serving, but I’m fine without that.

I use a nonstick rice cooker with a slow cook setting. I spray it with nonstick canola oil spray and cleanup is very easy. I’ve made this in the crock pot too, but be sure you spray it well. Even so, there is a bit more cleanup involved. If the oatmeal sticks, soak the crock pot with hot water and a few tablespoons baking soda.

dry-ingredientsIngredients (makes approximately 6 cups). Refrigerate leftovers for more breakfasts.

Nonstick canola spray

3 cups milk

6 cups water

1 1/2 Tb butter (or a mixture of butter and coconut oil)

4 large Gala, Jonagold, Pink Lady or other sweet cooking apples peeled and chopped (you can substitute other cooking apples)

1 Tb brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup steel cut oats

1/2 tsp salt

1 Tb cinnamon

1 Tb flax seed meal

3 Tb chia seeds

1/4 cup oat bran

1/4 cup raisins

2 cinnamon sticks (optional)

For serving:

1 cup walnut or pecan pieces to stir in the next morning

1 cup fresh or 2 cups (16 oz) frozen blueberries to stir in the next morning (optional)

caramelized apples and dry ingredientsDirections

Spray your cooker very well. Fill with milk and water.

apples cooked in butter with cinnamon and brown sugar

Fry apples in butter and sprinkle in a few shakes of cinnamon, the vanilla and brown sugar, stirring often until they caramelize. If I have cream on hand, I stir in a tablespoon for real caramel.

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, then pour into cooker and mix well with the liquids. Mix in caramelized apples, raisins, and cinnamon sticks. Set slow cook timer for 7 hours. It’s best to make this with at least an hour before bedtime so that you can stir it while it thickens and avoid lumps.

apples-on-top-of-cooked-oats

In the morning, the apples will rise to the top.  I like to stir in a cup of fresh (or frozen) blueberries. Acai berry puree is also good to stir in. Stir oatmeal well and ladle into bowls.

frozen blueberriesIf you don’t have apples on hand or just don’t want to do all that work, stir in a 16 oz package of frozen blueberries into the cooked oatmeal.

oatmeal with frozen blueberries

Sprinkle with pecan or walnut pieces and serve with more milk if desired.

Steel-cut oats oatmeal with apples and nuts

???????????????????????????????This fiber-rich, creamy and crunchy oatmeal will stick to your ribs on these cold winter mornings when you need something to warm you up and keep you going.

I used the quick-cooking steel cut oats from Trader Joe’s. They cook in only 8 minutes. Nuts add crunch and protein, and apples and/ or raisins add sweetness and fiber. This recipe serves 2, but you can double or triple it to store some for those weekday mornings when you need a quick warm-up before work. It’s all-natural, so much better than those instant oatmeal packets.

Serves 2

1 1/2 cups water

a few shakes salt

1/2 cup quick-cooking steel cut oats

2 Tb ground flax seed

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 apple (I used a honey crisp apple)

1/4 cup raisins

1/2 cup walnut pieces

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup milk

1 Tb cream (optional)

pure maple syrup or brown sugar (optional)

Peel and chop the apple into bite-size pieces. Bring water to a boil. Add salt, oatmeal. flax seed, cinnamon, apple and raisins. Lower heat and cover pot, and cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and stir in nuts and milk for one minute. Pour into bowls and add a tablespoon of cream for a treat. If you desire added sweetness, add maple syrup or brown sugar to taste.