Cranberry & Meyer Lemon Strudel

This month’s ‘What’s Baking’ challenge theme was a good one–A Small Dessert for 1 or 2. It was hosted by Eva from Eva Bakes and a great idea. Seeing as it’s only Husband and I (no kids thanks-just the dog), I often find that recipes make just way.too.much. for just the 2 of us.

This strudel is delicious. The cranberries are so tart and the  Meyer lemon adds a bit of sweetness. It can’t get easier than just unrolling the puff pastry either.

This is the perfect strudel to make in the dead of winter as both blood oranges and Meyer lemons are in season. Feel free  to use more or less of the Meyer lemon, blood orange and/or regular orange juice.

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Cranberry & Meyer Lemon Strudel

Ingredients:

  • 12 ozs frozen whole cranberries, thawed.
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tbsp Meyer lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp blood orange juice
  • 3 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 package Pepperidge Farm frozen Puff Pastry (package contains 2 sheets)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp orange juice

Instructions:

  1. Set a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the sugar, zest, corn starch and juices and stir to combine and dissolve. Add cranberries, stir and bring to a boil and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes, stirring constantly.  The mix will thicken up considerably and the cranberries will burst.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and put in the fridge for 2 hours.
  3. While the cranberry mix is cooling thaw the pastry as to the package instructions for countertop.
  4. Preheat oven to 375.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Lay one puff pastry sheet on one half of the baking sheet.  Spread half of the cranberry mix down the middle section of the pastry, fold the left and right over the center. Pinch the dough at each end together to make a seal. Using a small sharp knife cut a few holes gently into the top layer of the pastry.  Reapeat with the remaing pastry dough.
  7. Mix the egg and water together and, using a pastry brush, gently brush the egg wash on top of the pastry.
  8. Bake for 30-40 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool for 15 minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to wire racks to cool.
  10. Mix the confectioners sugar and orange juice together and, when the strudels are fully cooled, drizzle over the tops of each.
  11. Slice and serve.

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Note: this makes 2 strudels. To make only 1 cut all ingredients in half.

Inspired by Easy Cranberry Strudel found on eatathomecooks.com

Check out the other great recipes for this month’s theme here.

WB

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Puff Pastry Bites with Asiago, Parmesan, Shallots, Scallions and Pancetta

So a while ago Cooking Light Magazine had a section about appetizers using puff pastry sheets and they were great!! They have onion, potato, bell pepper etc…but I wanted something original and different this time. I came up with this basically by putting many of my favorite flavors onto a bite of puff pastry. The tangy, nutty cheeses, the carmelized shallots and scallions and the crispy pancetta create many flavor and texture levels. I brought these to my Mom’s Labor Day party and they were great!!

Puff Pastry Bites with Asiago, Parmesan, Shallots, Scallions and Pancetta

Ingredients:

  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
  • 1/3 lb pancetta, cut the short way across into 1/3 inch strips
  • 2 shallots, sliced thin
  • 2 scallions, white and bright green parts only, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan (do not use pre-shredded)
  • 1/2 cup finely grated asiago
  • flour for dusting

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Cover a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. On a large board dusted with flour roll out puff pastry sheet to a square. Cut across the sheet 5 times from top to bottom and then 5 times from right to left to make 25 small squares. Place squares on the cookie sheet and put in the fridge while you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. In a large skillet cook the pancetta over medium heat until crispy. Reduce heat to low-med and remove the pancetta with a spider to keep the fat in the pan (or a slotted spoon but keep as much fat in the pan as possible) and set aside on paper towels. Add the shallot, garlic and scallion to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until carmelized. Set aside. Add the 2 cheeses to a plate and mix to combine.
  3. Remove cookie sheet from fridge and prick each square with a fork so that the pastry doesn’t puff too much in the oven.  Cook in the oven for 10 minutes (the pastry should not be completely cooked at this point). On each square spred a small amount of the cheese mix, top with a bit of the scallion/shallot mix and then top with a bit of pancetta. There should be an even amount of all on each square.
  4. Return the squares to the oven and bake for another 5-7 minutes or until corners of pastry are golden.
  5. Remove and serve warm or at room temp.

Sparksfromthekitchen.com original.