Cheese Strudel

This surprisingly easy recipe for Cheese Strudel comes just in time for Oktober Fest…  have yourself a wonderful German treat!
Follow the thaw and storage instructions on your phyllo dough … Athens makes a package of sheets of dough… they label it Fillo … you can find it in the frozen section of the grocery store.. if you can’t find it ask your store’s manager.. I’m sure they carry it.
Clarify your melted butter by melting it (I melt mine in a measuring cup in the microwave)… then skim off the white foam.
This recipe will make about two strudels.. with some left over filling… you can make small pastries with the leftover filling.. just make little strudels by cutting the dough in half and following the preparation method.
The filling needs to be refrigerated at least 2 hours or overnight…. I make mine one day and use the filling the next… less mess to clean up at once.
I use quick cooking tapioca.. just measure it right out of the little box… and no.. it isn’t cooked.. just put the powdery granules right into the filling.
To drain the ricotta cheese… place it in a strainer set over a bowl.  Let it drain for 2 hours… it will drain liquid.. the amount draining off will depend on the brand ricotta you have.
Gently roll the filled dough .. it may tear… I honestly don’t worry about it… I slice it up.. and no one notices… besides it’s delicious just the same.
Speaking of cutting… I cut mine after it comes out of the oven within the first 5 minutes… it cuts easier… use a long big knife… use strong smooth cuts… the bottom dough is always a bit stiff.
Cool then sift with powdered sugar… make sure it’s cooled otherwise the sugar just melts into the crust.
This is really easy… honest!

Recipe:  Cheese Strudel
All you need:
Phyllo dough sheets
1 stick butter, melted and clarified
Dry plain bread crumbs

For the Filling:

2 pounds whole milk ricotta cheese, drained *See TIPS
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
1 ¾ cup sugar
6 tablespoons Tapioca *See TIPS
2 large egg YOLKS
2 teaspoons vanilla

All you need to do:

To make the filling:

Put the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer.  Beat on low until

well mixed.  Add the remaining ingredients and beat at low/medium speed until

well mixed.  Scrape the bowl into an airtight container and refrigerate up to 2


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Melt the butter and skim off the foam.

Thaw the phyllo dough in the refrigerator overnight or according to package directions..

Set the dough out on the counter, with box still closed, for 1-2 hours to get the dough to room temperature.

Make sure you have the plain bread crumbs in a small bowl within easy reach.

Wet and wring out a cotton towel (you can use a paper towel if you don’t have a cotton towel). Set aside.

On a large cutting board or counter top… open the box of phyllo dough and slowly and carefully unroll the package.

Remove one sheet and carefully lay it down on the work surface. Cover the remaining dough with the wet towel.

Carefully and GENTLY brush the sheet with melted butter. Do it patiently otherwise you will have tears. If you get tears… it should be okay …especially in the inner layers… but you really don’t want too many.

Sprinkle with bread crumbs.

Repeat this 4 more times, so you have 5 layers.

Place the filling down the long way of the dough, in about the third of the dough leaving about an inch border on the one side.  Gently fold the sides in.

Fold over the one inch border of the dough, then roll it over, tucking it in. Continue to roll until you have a small piece remaining.  Baste with butter and seal it up.

Carefully lift the strudel and place on the parchment paper on the baking sheet.

Brush the strudel with melted butter.

Bake for 50-55 minutes until golden brown.  Baste with the butter periodically (at least 4 times).

Remove from oven and allow to cool somewhat.  Slice after about 5 minutes out of the oven.

It’s wonderful to serve warm… but cold is good too.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar when cool.

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