Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mealtime Magic: Caramel Apple Strudel

If you grew up munching crisp Fall apples, and were lucky enough to occasionally get your hands on a gooey caramel apple, this recipe is for you. It combines fresh apples and spices with flaky fillo dough, sweet caramel topping and a scoop of your favorite ice cream – perfect for an elegant dinner party or a Halloween party treat.

Fillo (also spelled “filo” and “phyllo”) is the Greek word for leaf. Fillo pastry is made of paper-thin, leaf-like sheets of unleavened flour dough. The chefs at Kontos Foods, providers of fillo dough and other ethnic bakery products, suggest this delicious Caramel Apple Strudel recipe – a dish that both adults and kids will love.

Caramel Apple Strudel

4 tbsp of butter for simmering apples
4 cups of Fuji, Pink Lady or other favorite baking apple
2/3 cup of brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
Pinch of ground cloves
1/3 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 stick of melted butter for brushing fillo dough
8 sheets thawed Kontos fillo dough
Jar of caramel topping, warmed
French vanilla ice cream

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Peel apples and slice them about 1/8-inch thick.
  3. Gently melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a pan with lid. Add the apples and saute, covered, for about 10 minutes until the apples soften.
  4. Combine the softened apples with brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and optional nuts.
  5. Using a pastry brush, brush each of the 8 fillo sheets with the melted butter, placing one on top of the other.
  6. When you have all your buttered fillo neatly stacked, spoon apple mixture along the long edge of the stack, leaving a 2-3 inch border at each end.
  7. Fold the fillo over the ends first, then roll up long-ways like a jellyroll.
  8. Place the rolled strudel on a sprayed cookie sheet (with folded part underneath), brush with melted butter.
  9. With a sharp knife, cut diagonal slits in the fillo.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown
  11. Before serving, drizzle – zig-zag fashion – the warmed caramel topping over the top. Serve warm with a scoop of French vanilla ice cream.
Tip: When working with fillo dough, keep a clean, damp dishtowel handy to place over unused sheets and prevent them from drying out.

“Many home cooks think fillo is only for experienced chefs, and are a little afraid to work with it. The trick when making desserts such as strudel, or savory dishes such as spinach spanakopita, is to handle the fillo carefully, keep it moist and be sure to baste it with butter or olive oil to create the perfect crunch and golden appearance,” said Steve Kontos, vice president of Kontos Foods. “When you pull your dish out of the oven, you will see that fillo is a feast for the senses, with its gorgeous appearance, mouth-watering aroma and perfect flaky texture. Your family and friends will be impressed!”

To learn more about Kontos Foods and its array of flatbreads and other baked goods, visit You can also find Kontos Foods on Twitter@KontosFoods or on Facebook at www.facebook/KontosFoods

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