Aunt Feige’s Strudel
INGREDIENTS
  • Cherry Jam Ingredients:
  • 3 lb pitted sour cherries
  • 1 C sugar per cup cherries
  • Blattelach (dough leaf) Ingredients:
  • 1 C flour (plus extra for mixing dough and preparing dough leaf)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 C to 1 C hot water
  • Filling Ingredients:
  • 2 C walnuts (chop or crush with stick)
  • 1 C stale bread (grate and crush until fine)
  • 3/4 lemon (grate rind and all)
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/4 to 1/3 lb white raisins
  • 2 to 3 T jam
  • 1/2 C maraschino cherries, broken in half
DIRECTIONS
  1. Directions: Cherry Jam for Strudel
  2. Pit and drain cherries.
  3. Let cherries sit overnight in sugar.
  4. Cook until syrupy.
  5. Directions: Blattelach (dough leaf)
  6. Mix 1 C flour and salt well with a knife.
  7. Add more flour and mix well until a floured finger doesn’t stick, but a non-floured one does.
  8. Put on floured board and pat.
  9. Cut into 2 parts and let sit (covered) at least an hour and a half.
  10. Cover kitchen table with cloth.
  11. Flour the cloth.
  12. Roll one part of the dough a little with stick, pick up on stick, wave to stretch, roll, etc. until all dough covers much of table and all of stick.
  13. Stretch some with hands, then let it sit.
  14. Pick up edges, wave a bit to stretch.
  15. Wait. Talk to someone, be patient.
  16. Stretch and wait some more.
  17. When dry in center, keep pulling off sticky edges.
  18. Can read newspaper through dough when ready.
  19. Directions: Filling
  20. Mix all but cherries.
  21. Have oil ready to sprinkle.
  22. Sprinkle oil over pulled blattelach (dough).
  23. Put 2” x 3/4” filling long way on dough.
  24. Put cherries on top of filling.
  25. Get one roll over filling, sprinkle some filling over the rest, and roll up.
  26. Should get 2 or 3 turns over.
  27. Cut roll into pieces 2” long.
  28. Squeeze a little at ends when picking it up.
  29. Put in ungreased pan.
  30. Bake at 350 to 450 degrees, until barely brown on top (about 15 minutes).
  31. Too much jam will cause filling to be runny and sticky.
RECIPE BACKSTORY
Recipe from Aunt Feige, Rita’s older sister. Dough must be drier for strudel than for bagellach (bagellach is a potato or meat filling with this leaf). Advance preparation: Jam must be prepared the night before. Allow adequate time to prepare the strudel dough. Strudel, a type of layered pastry (usually with a sweet filling), became popular in the 18th century through the Habsburg Empire. Strudel is a traditional pastry in the whole area of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. The oldest Strudel recipes (a Millirahmstrudel and a turnip strudel) are from 1696, in a handwritten cookbook at the Vienna City Library. The pastry descends from similar Near Eastern pastries such as baklava and Turkish pastries. Photograph of sour cherry strudel from The Taste Space: https://tastespace.wordpress.com/2010/12/