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
Hands-On Time: 35 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes | Makes 8 servings
- 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)
- 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.
Sweet Potato, Golden Raisin, and Cranberry Strudel Recipe © 2009 Mary Cech. Photo © 2009 Noel Barnhurst. All rights reserved.