Just the other day I thought, man, I wish that I could roll into my local coffee shop and get a piece of really excellent strudel. It might sound odd, but thinking about sweets and which ones I might be neglecting is essentially my life. Plus, light and flakey layers of dough, sweet fruit filling, a light shower of powdered sugar—who doesn't want more of that in their lives?
Alas, not only do I rarely see strudel at the bakery much less the coffee shop, but I'm too busy or lazy to make traditional strudel dough at home. That's not to say that store-bought puff pastry makes a bad version, especially in the summer when the filling is made from extra sweet fruit.
What I'm trying to say is that this is a shortcut strudel, but a treat nonetheless. The filling is a mix of sliced peaches, sugar, lemon juice, and walnuts. The walnuts give the strudel some body so that when you put your fork through and go in for a bite, you get crisp dough layers, then soft peaches, then meaty walnuts.
When we get a little later in the summer, I'll swap the peaches for plums and add a touch of cinnamon. And if anyone knows where to get excellent strudel in San Francisco, give me a holler.
Note: To get your peaches into the thinnest possible slices, use a sharp knife and slightly firmer peaches. (The sugar will make up for them being less than perfectly ripe).
- Yield:serves 8
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:50 minutes
- 1/2 of a 17.3 ounce package of Puff Pastry, thawed
- 3 peaches, pitted and sliced into 1/8-inch slices
- 1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
Adjust oven rack to middle position and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a medium bowl, combine sliced peaches, 1/3 cup sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Stir in walnuts.
Lightly flour a clean work surface and roll puff pastry out to a 16 by 12-inch rectangle. With the short side facing you, cover 1/2 of pastry with peach mixture, leaving a 1-inch border at the end closest to you. Roll the pastry up, jelly roll-style, and crimp to seal edges. Transfer strudel to prepared baking sheet and brush top with melted butter. Sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon sugar. Cut three slits on top of the pastry to let steam escape.
Bake until pastry is golden, about 35 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes before serving