This is kind of conversation Jeff and I have before falling asleep on Saturday nights:
Lori: “I think I’m going to get up early tomorrow and make a pear strudel. We can eat it for breakfast.”
Jeff: “Strudel? For breakfast? Isn’t that a dessert?”
Lori: “Uhhhh…what about Toaster Strudel? Remember those?”
Jeff: “Well, those had frosting.”
Lori: “So, frosting makes it a breakfast item rather than dessert?”
Lori: “OK, I’ll make you a little bit of frosting…”
That’s how I found myself making a pear strudel, and a small bowl of glaze for Jeff, on a recent Sunday morning. Because frosting or glaze = breakfast, obviously. If you missed my post on how to work with phyllo dough, you’ll want to check that out first. After that, it’s just a matter of cooking a simple mixture of D’Anjou pears and raisins, spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, and then rolling it all up in a few layers of phyllo. Bake, slice, drizzle with glaze (so you can call it breakfast), and eat. While watching House of Cards, because that’s what weekend mornings are for. When can we openly talk about House of Cards Season 2? Soon?
For the Pear Strudel:
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 3 large D'Anjou pears, peeled, cored and diced
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 6 sheets phyllo dough
For the Glaze:
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Make Pear Strudel: Place raisins in small bowl, cover with very warm tap water. Let stand 5 minutes to plump, then drain.
- Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add pears, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and plumped raisins. Cook 8 to 10 minutes or until pears are very tender and almost all liquid is evaporated, stirring occasionally. Spread mixture on small rimmed baking pan or plate and place in refrigerator 15 minutes to cool (this step can be done up to 2 days in advance).
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in microwave. Place a stack of 3 phyllo sheets on parchment paper on work surface. Make a second stack of 3 phyllo sheets and place it so it overlaps the first stack by about an inch. Mound the cooled pear filling along one of the long sides of phyllo dough. Roll up like a jelly roll and transfer the parchment with strudel to rimmed baking pan.
- Brush strudel with melted butter. Score the dough into 1-inch portions using a serrated knife, but do not cut completely through the strudel. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Meanwhile, make Glaze: In small bowl, whisk together all ingredients.
- Slice strudel and serve warm with glaze.