Wednesday, June 22, 2016

An Early Harvest results in a fabulous Sour Cherry Strudel

Yesterday, Frank went over to help our son in law install some light fixtures.  He came home with a gallon bag of sour cherries that Pierre had gotten from their tree in the backyard.

They were beautiful and we spent a good while pitting them all.  I then used 5 c. for a Cherry Strudel that I will be sharing with you today and froze 5 c. that I will be using to make jam in the near future.

I was surprised to get these gorgeous cherries because, as you can see, my cherries won't be ready for a while yet.  What a difference 25 miles makes.

I have never made a strudel before.  I started out by cooking the cherries with sugar and cornstarch to sweeten, thicken and soften them.  They are now like canned cherry pie filling.  I placed them in the refrigerator overnight along with a package of frozen phyllo dough to thaw.

Once you have the cherries done the only other things you need are some panko bread crumbs, phyllo dough and melted butter.  With this recipe I was able to get 3 large and 2 small strudels.  You can make 4 large or 8 small  or any combination that floats your boat.  The amounts listed in the instructions are for the large strudels

You start by layering the phyllo dough buttering between each layer, using 5 sheets of dough. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs, place the cherries in the center, leaving a border at the sides and ends.

Fold it up like an envelope, brushing with additional butter to seal the seams.  Place it on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment or covered with a silicone mat and bake in a preheated 400* oven for 20 minutes or until flaky and golden brown.

Remove from pan onto a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before drizzling with glaze.

 Frank and I each enjoyed a slice for breakfast.  I wrapped this strudel up and sent it with Frank back to Nicole and Pierre's house.  

These tart cherries with a hint of almond and sweet glaze turned out more perfectly than I could even imagine.  This was my first attempt at strudel and all I can say is OH MY YUM!!!

Sour Cherry Strudel

5 c. pitted tart cherries
3/4 c. sugar
3 T. cornstarch
1 t. pure almond extract
1 roll (1/2 package)  frozen phyllo dough, thawed
1 stick butter, melted
1 c. panko bread crumbs
1 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 T. half and half

Place cherries, sugar, cornstarch and almond extract  in a large heavy sauce pan over med high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  Reduce heat and simmer for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring often, until thickened. Remove to a bowl and set aside to cool completely. (Can be refrigerated overnight if desired)

Unroll the phyllo dough and lay on a flat work surface covering with plastic wrap.  Remove one sheet of dough and brush with melted butter, keeping the remaining dough covered with the plastic. Remove another sheet, lay on top of first sheet, brush with melted butter.  Repeat until you have layered 5 sheets of dough.  Sprinkle 1/4 of the breadcrumbs over the layered sheets.  Place a rounded 1/2 cup of the cherries in the center of the sheets, leaving a 2" border around all sides.  Starting with the long side, flip the layers over the cherries, fold in the short side like an envelope, flip over the second long side to cover and brush with melted  butter to seal seams. Use a sharp knife to cut 4 or 5 slices along the top to allow the steam to vent.  Repeat this process 4 times.

Place strudels, seam side down, on baking sheets that have been covered with parchment or a silicone mat. Bake in a preheated 400* oven for 20 minutes, until flaky and golden brown.  Remove from pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

While strudel is cooling, combine the powdered sugar and half and half, adjusting ingredients if necessary to achieve desired consistency.  Drizzle over cooled strudels.  Print Recipe


  1. This looks really good. I used to love picking cherries off my grandma's trees. She would scream her head off if she caught us though!

    1. Well you wouldn't want to pick these unless Grandma was baking you something or making jam. These are way to tart to just eat.

  2. Oh my oh my! I just adore cherries in baked goods (drool) and this recipe looks delicious! I can't wait to someday make this recipe myself! Unfortunately, the birds got all but four of our cherries this year :( Ah well, lessons learned. We will certainly be netting our trees next year!

    1. They are fast Vickie. Last year I noticed my cherries were ready. The very next day I went out for them and found only seeds.


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