by Judy Kim
RASPBERRY CHEESE STRUDEL
Yield: 8 - 10 servings
This is not your traditional strudel, but it gives you that great combination of flaky dough wrapped around a thick cream cheese filling with the bonus of a raspberry compote for some sweetness. I wanted something different than the usual fruit fillings. As some of you may know, I love to make decorative desserts, so this one is no exception. In full disclosure, I wanted to use a pate brisee pastry just so I could decorate it with some cute leaves.
For the vodka pate brisee:
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into cubes and frozen in advance
1/2 cup vodka
1/4 cup water
For the raspberry compote:
2 pints raspberries
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
zest of one lemon
3 dashes aromatic bitters
1 tbsp cornstarch
For the cream cheese filling:
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp cornstarch
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
For assembly and garnish:
¼ cup heavy cream
1 pint fresh raspberries
Make the vodka pate brisee:
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade, combine flour, salt and sugar. Add butter and pulse 3 times. Butter should be in large pieces still and just barely covered in the dry ingredients.
- In liquid measuring cup, add 1/2 cup vodka and several ice cubes. Wait until vodka is chilled and remove ice cubes. Add ice water to vodka until it reaches 3/4 cup. This method ensures that the vodka will maintain a 3/4 cup measurement.
- While pulsing, slowly add 1/2 cup of liquid mixture through the feed tube. Continue to pulse and add remaining water little by little, using only enough to have dough hold together. You may not need the full 3/4 cup of liquid. It may be slightly sticky. Be careful not to over process or the pastry will not be light and flaky. Dump out mixture onto a lightly floured surface and carefully remove blade.
- Divide dough into two pieces: One piece 2/3rd of dough 2nd piece 1/3 of dough and shape into a rectangular disk.
- Note: If I were making pie, I would shape it into a round disk, to help reduce waste when rolling out the pastry. Wrap in plastic and place in refrigerator. Chill at least 1 hour. Dough can be stored in freezer up to 1 month.
Make the raspberry compote:
- Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat about 10 minutes, whisking to incorporate cornstarch.
- Stir occasionally until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Option to strain mixture, but not necessary.
- Make the cream cheese filling:
- Place cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream them together on low speed until smooth. Slowly add cornstarch, lemon juice and vanilla. Mix until fully incorporated but do not over whip.
Make the strudel:
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Let prepared pate brisee pastry sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes after it has been chilled, it will make it easier to roll out without cracking. Using smaller 1/3 piece of dough, roll out pastry until ¼” thick on a lightly floured surface. Work quickly to prevent the butter from melting. Using small cookie cutters in any shape desired or preferably pie cutters (I suggest cutters from Williams Sonoma that change shapes seasonally) cut out dough, dipping cutters in flour if necessary to prevent sticking. Lay them out without overlapping onto a parchment lined sheet or even a small cutting board and refridgerate them until ready for use.
- Roll out the larger 2/3 piece of dough in shape of a rectangle, approximately 12 x 16 and place on the baking sheet.
- Spread the cream cheese filling lengthwise evenly towards one edge but leaving about
- 1” along the edges of top and bottom, just in case it spreads. There should be 5” of pastry without cream cheese that will later become the top of the strudel. Lightly spread about ½ cup of the raspberry compote on top of the cream cheese. Try to keep compote only on cream cheese to prevent it from spreading uncontrollably.
- Carefully fold top of pastry over the filling and tuck all edges under to seal in the filling. With a sharp paring knife, cut slits on a diagonal but only through the top layer of pastry without cutting through either edge.
- To make a decorative strudel, decorate with pastry cut outs such as leaves. Brush back of cut out with heavy cream and stick to pastry cut outs in any pretty arrangement, just don’t’ cover all of the slits that are needed to let steam escape. Freeze any unused pastry cut out for up to 1 month. They can be used to top a pie or bake separately to add on top of any dessert.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes before placing in oven.
- Preheat oven at 375 degrees F and brush top of all pastry with heavy cream. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Garnish with fresh raspberries, drizzle, more raspberry compote and a sprig of mint.
Recipe modified: 3.9.16