Executive Head chef Darron Bunn doesn’t get away with avoiding any cooking duties over the festive holiday. His family have quite a few Christmas traditions including making this delicious strudel on Christmas Eve.
Darron says, “Even though the kids are a bit older they still insist that Christmas eve we do most of the food preparation. My wife, the two children and I work together to bone and stuff the turkey legs, make mulled wine, poach, bake and glaze a ham for Christmas day evening, make strudel, fresh cranberry sauce and gingerbread, as well as prep the vegetables. This ensures a fairly stress-free Christmas day - we have a large family and they all come around to ours for Christmas lunch.
The strudel is my own creation that came about because I love strudel and the smell of mincemeat, but I’m not a huge fan of too much of it. This recipe gives me the best of both and when it’s baking the whole kitchen smells of Christmas. I hope you enjoy making and serving it as much as we do.”
Comfortably serves 6-8 people, great hot as a pudding but equally delicious the next day cold with a foamy coffee.
375g Commice Pears (peeled, cored, cut into eighths)
375g Bramley Apples (peeled, cored, cut into neat chunks)
200g Almonds (toasted, chopped) - optional
½ Lemon (grated zest)
½ Orange (grated zest)
2tsp Lemon Juice
1tsp Ground Cinnamon
100g Butter (melted)
6 Large Sheets of Filo Pastry
1tbsp Icing Sugar
1. Combine the prepared apples and pears, with the grated zests, lemon juice, cinnamon and breadcrumbs (the crumbs will help absorb the moisture from the apples and pears whilst cooking) together in a bowl and mix well.
2. Preheat oven 180 degrees, place a flat iron baking tray into the oven.
3. Carefully stir the apples and pear mix with the mincemeat and nuts ensuring even distribution of the fruit & nuts.
4. On a clean dry tea towel, lay a sheet of filo and brush with a layer of butter, place another sheet of filo on top and repeat the process until all sheets are used.
5. Place the filling along the length of the filo layers, along one side 3cm from the edge.
6. Using the tea towel carefully roll to form the strudel shape, tuck in both ends, rolling the seam side down onto a sheet of grease proof paper.
7. Brush with remaining melted butter.
8. Remove the hot baking tray from the oven and lift the strudel onto the tray (this will ensure you have a nice crisp base).
9. Bake for 40-45mins, remove from the oven and dust with icing sugar.
I like to serve mine with either Brandy Custard or Brandy-flavoured Crème Fraiche, just a good excuse for a little more excess.