STRAWBERRY SUMMER STRUDELS
In the world of childhood breakfast items, it's hard to think of anything more delicious or less balanced of a breakfast than the Toaster Strudel. In more analytical terms, the Toaster Strudel is essentially a fruit pie filling wrapped inside buttery puff pastry, heavily drizzled with a sugary glaze. I set out to make a more rustic, gourmet version of the toaster strudel with a homemade pie filling. In lieu of true puff pastry (which is MUCH more difficult to make), I wrapped these in an insanely flakey, buttery pie dough that ended up being more delicious. The result was a perfectly toasty breakfast pastry with all the flavors of summer inside. The homemade strawberry lemon glaze is really just the icing on top. I will definitely be making these many more times.
Total time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Active time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Bake time: 20 minutes
Makes 6 strudels
Ingredients for the dough:
1+1/2 cups (189 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold
4 to 6 tablespoons ice cold water
Ingredients for the filling and assembly:
2 lbs strawberries, chopped, setting aside about 5 for the glaze
1/2 - 2/3 cup sugar (to taste)
1/2 cup flour
1 fl oz lemon juice
Pinch of salt
Ingredients for the glaze:
1+1/2 cups powdered sugar
Squeeze of lemon
Instructions for dough:
If you haven’t made pie dough before, the most important thing is to keep the dough cold. We want the butter to stay in small (visible) chunks throughout the dough rather than melting into it, because those globs of butter will steam in the oven and create flakiness! That’s why it’s important to start with cold butter and not overwork your dough.
1.) To make the dough using a food processor: begin by cubing the cold butter, and putting it in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Put flour, salt, and sugar in the food processor and pulse to combine. Add very cold, cubed butter and pulse with dry ingredients until the butter is broken down to the size of peas. Drizzle 4 tbsp of very cold water over the mixture and pulse briefly to incorporate. Add 1 additional tbsp of cold water at a time, pulsing after each, until the mixture begins to clump together. If you grab a handful, it should hold together, but the dough should not be wet or sticky. For me, this typically takes only one additional tbsp of water (5 total).
To make the dough by hand: begin by freezing the butter for about 15 minutes. Put flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl and stir to combine. Using the largest holes on a box grater, grate the cold butter into the dry ingredients. Toss together with your fingers and break up any large chunks, so that butter is roughly the size of peas, but not smaller. Drizzle 4 tbsp of very cold water over the mixture and use your hands to incorporate throughout. Add 1 additional tbsp of cold water at a time, incorporating between additions, until the mixture begins to clump together. If you grab a handful, it should hold together, but the dough should not be wet or sticky. For me, this typically takes only one additional tbsp of water (5 total).
2.) Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface, and use your hands to work the shaggy mixture into a dough. Clump the dough together with your hands, and the fold it over on itself a couple times until you have a relatively smooth dough ball. Flatten it slightly into a roughly 1 inch tall square. This will make it easier to roll out into the correct shape later. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. In the meantime, make the filling.
Instructions for the filling:
1.) To make the filling, combine chopped strawberries, sugar, salt, and lemon juice in a medium bowl and stir to combine. The sugar and salt will pull the moisture out of the strawberries, and the mixture should get really juicy. Transfer this to a medium saucepan, and place over medium heat, stirring frequently. When the mixture starts to bubble, add the flour and stir in, breaking up any clumps of flour. Continue stirring for 1-2 minutes until the mixture thickens significantly. The mixture should be thick and completely coat a wooden spoon. Remove from heat, transfer to a heat proof bowl, and refrigerate until cool.
Instructions for the assembly:
1.) To assemble, begin by removing your dough from the fridge and placing it onto a large, floured work surface. Lightly flour the top of the dough and your rolling pin and roll the dough from the center, outward, lifting the dough up to flour underneath as needed. We will be trimming this into a 10 inch tall by 21 inch wide rectangle, so make sure that your rolled out dough is big enough to accommodate (this means that you need the dough to be a full 21 inches across for at least 10 inches, not just at the widest point). Use a knife to trim this to a neat rectangle, and cut once across and 5 times vertically into twelve 5-inch x 3.5-inch rectangles. Transfer these to a parchment lined baking sheet.
2.) Beat the egg with a very small amount of water; this egg wash will serve as the glue to hold our strudels closed. Place about 1+1/2 - 2 tbsp of the cooled strawberry filling onto the center of six of the dough rectangles. The other six will be the tops. Use an offset spatula or butter knife to spread the filling into a rectangular shape, making sure to leave a clean 1/2-inch edge on all sides. One at a time, use a paper towel to thoroughly brush the edges of the six rectangles, being careful not to smear the filling. Place one of the six top pieces of dough over the filling, line up the edges, and use your fingers to seal the deal, pressing the edges together. Use a fork to crimp the pressed edges. Hang on to the remaining egg wash.
3.) With the 6 strudels spread out on our parchment lined sheet, pop them in the fridge to chill while you preheat your oven to 375° F. Once the oven is preheated, brush the tops of each sealed strudel well with egg wash (this will help make them golden), and poke the tops 4 times with a fork to allow some steam to vent in the oven. Bake for about 20-22 minutes, at which point they should be lightly golden brown, very puffed, and flakey. While they bake, make the glaze.
Instructions for the glaze:
1.) Place the handful of strawberries that we set aside in a blender with a small amount of water, and puree until smooth. Put powdered sugar in a medium bowl, and add puree a little at a time, whisking to combine until you have a thick, but drizzleable glaze. Add a squeeze of lemon and whisk until all powdered sugar lumps are gone. Give it a taste. It should be sweet, taste like strawberries, and have a nice lemony touch.
2.) Allow the strudels to cool to warm (not hot) before glazing, and only glaze ones you're going to eat immediately. I won't tell you how to drizzle - use your own creative flare, much like how tradition dictates with a store bought Toaster Strudel. These are truly insanely delicious, so no judgement for embracing your inner child and eating four in one sitting, as I did.
3.) If you have any left over, you can warm them in a 300° F degree oven and drizzle before eating.
Amazing, flakey dough adapted from handletheheat.com