Sweet Potato, Golden Raisin, and Cranberry Strudel

Don’t expect to have leftovers of this crunchy sweet potato, raisin, cranberry strudel. Brown butter and toasted pecans bring a rich buttered nuttiness to the earthy sweet potatoes and chewy dried fruit. Enjoy generous slices for a light lunch or as a side dish with roasted meat. You had better make two!–Mary Cech

Sweet Potato, Golden Raisin, and Cranberry Strudel Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 35 M
  • 1 H, 25 M
  • Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) phyllo pastry, thawed
  • 1/4 cup pecan pieces, toasted and finely chopped
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 3/4 cup crème fraîche (see Note)

Directions

  • 1. Put the cranberries and golden raisins in a small bowl and cover with hot water; set aside to plump for 10 minutes, then drain.
  • 2. Put the potato in a medium saucepan, cover with hot water, and add a little salt. Cook over high heat until fork-tender. Meanwhile, put the carrots in a small saucepan, cover with hot water, and add a little salt. Cook over high heat until fork-tender. Drain the potatoes and carrots in a strainer and set aside.
  • 3. Put the butter in a small saucepan over high heat. Let the butter melt and then stir continuously until the butter starts browning on the bottom of the pan. It will also start bubbling and foaming a little. The butter should have a medium golden-brown color. Immediately pour the butter into a small dish and set aside.
  • 4. Smash the soft-cooked potatoes and carrots with a fork or handheld potato masher. You are looking for a lumpy consistency. Stir 6 tablespoons of the brown butter into the vegetables. Blend in the dried fruit and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • 5. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and fit a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.
  • 6. To make the strudel, unroll the phyllo dough and lay it flat on a clean work surface. The dimensions of the dough will be 9 by 13 inches, or cut large sheets of phyllo dough to 9 by 13 inches. To help prevent the dough from drying out while working with it, cover with a slightly dampened clean kitchen cloth. Carefully place one sheet of dough on the prepared baking sheet. Brush with the melted brown butter, and lightly sprinkle with pecans and coarse sea salt. Lay another sheet on top and continue layering with brown butter, sea salt, and pecans. Layer and stack seven sheets together.
  • 7. Carefully spoon the vegetable-dried fruit filling along one of the long edges of the dough, packing it with your hands into a tubelike shape. Starting with the filling side of the dough, roll the strudel tightly into a log. Place the strudel in the center of the baking sheet, brush with the remaining butter, and sprinkle with pecans and a little sea salt.
  • 8. Place the strudel in the center of the oven and bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove the baking pan from the oven to a cooling rack. Transfer the strudel to a cutting board. With a serrated knife, cut the strudel using long sawing motions. This will help prevent excessive flaking of the pastry. Serve warm or at room temperature with spiced crème fraîche (see Note).

Homemade Crème Fraîche

  • To make your own crème fraîche, stir 2 cups heavy (whipping) cream with 4 tablespoons buttermilk in a small saucepan. Warm over low heat but do not bring to a boil. Pour the warm liquid into a small container and cover. Store at room temperature until thick, 8 to 48 hours. Once the crème fraîche is thick, cover and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
  • Flavored Crème Fraîche
  • Spice up homemade crème fraîche with a hint of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and vanilla extract. Add as much or as little as your taste buds desire.
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Comments
Comments
  1. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Aria Baker] Super yummy and a fun dish to share with friends! This strudel was easy to put together and the flavor was wonderful. Sweet, salty, crunchy, and smooth. Exactly the right combination. The strudel was a perfect autumn side dish to my roast pork loin but would also be great with Thanksgiving turkey. Actually, since I’m not real big on sweets this is my idea of the perfect dessert. And, if more than four are coming for dinner you might want to heed her advice and make two….maybe more…it really is that good.

  2. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Julia Dreyfoos] This strudel is a great side dish or main for a luncheon with a mixed greens salad. I made this the first time with the phyllo pastry following the recipe. The next time I made it using a sheet of puff pastry dough that I had in the freezer and it was just as delicious. This will be a great side dish at Thanksgiving with the combination of carrots, sweet potatoes and pecans.

  3. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Nancy Mosher] This strudel has all the delights of a perfect, crisp autumn day to it. The buttery, flaky crust surrounds the earthy richness of fall’s best ingredients. Sweet potatoes and carrots make a wonderfully smooth and earthy base in which the cranberries and raisins just sparkle. Topping off the strudel with the crème fraîche full of warm spice flavors adds the perfect finishing touch. Everyone who had this thoroughly enjoyed it. It will become a staple in this kitchen every fall and may even make an appearance at my Thanksgiving table.

  4. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Amy Giezentanner] This strudel recipe is fabulous! It has just the right combination of textures—smooth, plump, creamy, crunchy and nutty—to entice your palate over and over again. The buttery sweetness of the sweet potatoes and dried fruit is cunningly disguised by the sea salt, giving a unique savory take on a traditionally sweet combination. I would serve this strudel to my friends any day—if there’s any left over after I dive into it first!

  5. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Karla M. Cyr] Let autumn colors and flavors dress your harvest table this year. This strudel marries red cranberries, golden raisins, and orangy sweet potatoes and carrots together for a taste experience that is to be savored. You’ll love how these earthy and sweet-tart notes harmonize with the nutty essence of the browned butter and toasted nuts. Give this strudel a pleasantly warm oven where these flavors can emerge, and you’ll soon be captivated by its superb aroma and taste. Serve this show-stopping strudel at home or take it out on the town…one will not be enough to go around.

  6. Gigi Chow says:

    I just made this as a side dish to our Christmas dinner, it was delicious. The flakiness of the phyllo contrasted nicely with the velvety sweet potatoes. I used chopped toasted almonds (since almonds were all I had) instead of pecans and they really added a special touch to the recipe. Just make sure you use just a sprinkle of the coarse sea salt.

    • David Leite says:

      Gigi—I made this strudel a few weeks back and totally agree with your comment. I also want to mention that leftovers rewarm beautifully.

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