aaaaaand we’re back! I took a lil’ break there, did you notice?
Well, I’m back, and I’m writing this on one of those last golden days between when the Holidays are officially over, and before New Years Eve. Don’t you love those days? The house is still full of food, you’ve just had your yearly affirmation that some people out there really love you, and if you’re lucky you might have even picked up a nifty present or two.
These inbetween times are some of my favourite of the year. In the lead up to Christmas there’s an undercurrent of stress running through the day. But, starting on boxing day, it’s plain sailing to the new year.
And it’s the perfect time to make this strudel. Oh, all the detoxing and dieting can wait for January! Something has to be done with all these gorgeous leftovers – sandwiches for days, delicious leftover turkey pie, an amazing ham sandwich which will be coming your way soon, and last but not least, this little Austrian wonder, the strudel.
Crunchy on the outside, full of spiced cake and secrets, this is about as great as a recycled dessert gets.
It’s easy as pie to make, easier in fact, because I use ready-made filo, and it will take your leftover desserts to new heights! For this post I filled my strudels with jarred morello cherries, crumbled leftover Christmas Pudding, and a healthy dose of dark chocolate. But this is a great way to gather up any leftover desserts and give them an exciting new lease on life. I’ve used leftover brownies with raspberries in the past, or what about leftover fruitcake with slices of apple and pear? So many options.
On top is a little Salted Caramel Rum Butter. Yeah, did you know that in Britain, Brandy Butter, or Hard Sauce is the traditional accompaniment to Christmas Pudding? It’s true – like a boozy butter icing, right on top of your dessert. THANKS BRITAIN! I had some salted caramel left over, so I decided to sling some of that in, and it wouldn’t be the holidays without a little rum to remind me of my Grandad.
This is the perfect thing to whip up for those days when you’re just hanging around the house, eating the leftover potato chips and mixed chocolates from your get-togethers, maybe catching a movie. Speaking of which, have you seen The Secret Life of Walter Mitty? My man friend and I went to the swanky cinema we like to frequent and caught it a couple of days ago. It felt so luxurious going to the movies in the middle of the day, and what a movie! No spoilers, but if you like beautiful images, go for that alone. It was scene after scene of beautiful settings, beautiful styling. You might say it was really really, ridiculously good looking (unsubtle Ben Stiller joke).
It was such an inspiring story too! Inspiring in a pretty obvious way, of course, but who cares! Of course when you have a case of wanderlust that’s as debilitating as mine it doesn’t take much to fill you with inspiration. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful movie, and it has filled me with ideas and hope for the New Year.
So what are you doing with your leftovers this year? Salads, pies, pizzas, sandwiches, maybe even a strudel? And how are you feeling about the impending new year? I waver between excited and hopeful, and this weird bewildered ‘where did the year go’ feeling, like I’ve lost my keys.
2014’s a coming!!
Leftover Christmas Pudding Strudel
My riff on this recipe by Jamie Oliver
2 cups (300g) leftover Christmas Pudding (this one, maybe?)
1 cup (150g) morello cherries from a jar, drained
20z (50g) dark chocolate, chopped
2 0z (50g) chopped hazelnuts
8 sheets of filo pastry
2 0z (50g) butter, melted
caster sugar and cinnamon, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 375F/180C, and line a baking sheet. Crumble the pudding into a mixing bowl and add the cherries, chocolate and half the hazelnuts, mix and toss everything together and set aside. Now, take a sheet of filo pastry and brush it lightly with melted butter. Sprinkle a big pinch of caster sugar and a small pinch of cinnamon over the pastry, and then top with a second sheet of filo, buttering that as well.
With the shortest edge of the pastry facing you, take a quarter of the filling mixture and place it at the short edge of the rectangle. Shape it into a square a third of the width of the pastry, and then fold the two long edges over the filling to cover it, before folding the pastry wrapped filling over itself to enclose it in the pastry. Brush again with butter, and place on the baking sheet.
Do the same with the remaining filling, making four strudels in total. Sprinkle the strudels with the rest of the chopped hazelnuts and bake for 25 minutes. Serve with Salted Caramel Rum Butter (recipe below).
Salted Caramel Rum Butter
An original recipe by Sarah Coates for The Sugar Hit
1/2 stick (50g) butter, softened
2 tbsp salted caramel sauce
1 tbsp rum
4 tbsp icing sugar
Place all the ingredients in a bowl, and beat until the come together – taste and adjust the amount of rum, sugar and caramel to suit yourself!