Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Leftovers -> Cranberry Strudel

We didn't have that many leftovers from our Thanksgiving feast, so it isn't like I'd been agonizing over what to do with all of that cranberry pear sauce. But Saturday morning, I woke up inspired. In my half-wakeful state, an image of some phyllo dough we've had sitting in the freezer came unbidden to my mind. And with it, a resolution: "Today I will make cranberry strudel."

Ingredients for a cranberry strudel.
I sweetened the cranberry sauce with a little bit of honey (I know, I'm a bad vegan), and one of the strudels got some walnuts added. That one ended up tasting better, but my daughter doesn't like nuts, so I wanted to make one without.
About an hour later
The truth is, the idea was better than the outcome. I've never made a pastry of any kind before, so I'm not being too hard on myself. But there were a few issues (aside from the fact that the strudel split its side open in the oven).

  • I'm not sure if butter would have behaved differently than the Earth Balance spread, but that's largely an academic question, since I will not eat butter.

    • There was something missing. My taste buds say that it may be salt. Whatever was lacking, it's more pronounced in the pastry without walnuts.
    • The sauce soaked into the phyllo too much, I think. The layers in the lower half of the strudel are indistinguishable - it's just cranberry-soaked dough.

    Still, they turned out edible, and it was a good idea and a good experiment. If anyone has any tips for how to do better next time, I'd be happy to hear them.

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