I love the modern usage of the word ‘strudel’. It can mean basically anything you can get away with rolling up in filo dough and baking until golden brown and delicious. I recently served this strudel as part of our Valentine’s Day dinner. I picked ginger and pumpkin because pumpkin is one of the few vegetables that can still be considered seasonal in February, and ginger acted as a good go-between to bridge the sweetness of the cherry sauce and the musty/earthiness of the pumpkin. The cream cheese adds richness and helps bind the mixture together for ease in rolling.
3 cups Pumpkin Puree
1/4 cup Fresh Ginger, grated
4 oz. Cream Cheese
1/4 cup Sorghum (or 3 T. Honey + 1 T. Molasses)
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
Salt and Pepper to taste.
Place all in a food processor and puree it until it’s smooth and evenly mixed. Take a package of Fully Thawed Filo Dough. Note: Filo can be a bit of a pain to work with as it is thin, delicate and tears easily. The two steps you can take to circumvent these problems are #1 keep a very damp towel over the filo while you’re working with it and #2 make sure it’s fully thawed in the fridge before you begin. If you think you can speed thaw it by putting the box on the oven or sitting it on the counter, you’ll find yourself stuck with a roll of dough that sticks together on one side, rips when you try to separate it, and causes you to teach your children curse words.
Back to the strudel. Take a sheet of filo dough and place it on a clean counter. Gently brush it with oil or butter and lightly season it with salt and pepper. Add another sheet and repeat until you have 6 sheets stacked on top of each other.
Now take your filling and scoop it out onto one of the long ends. Gently roll the strudel into a tube keeping it as tight and even as you can without breaking it. Place the roll seam side down on a baking sheet and put it in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until it’s golden brown and hot all the way through.
Remove from the oven and let it cool for about five minutes. Then cut it into four equal bias cut pieces (or whatever shape tickles your fancy) and serve!