Strudel, Austria's famous melt-in-the-mouth pastry, looks very impressive but is surprisingly easy to make. In this cherry and almond strudel, ground almonds and breadcrumbs absorb the juice from the cherries, so the layers of filo pastry bake wonderfully light and crisp.
Source: Cook Smart for a Healthy Heart, Reader’s Digest Canada
Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200°C). Lightly grease a nonstick baking sheet. To make the fruit filling, place the breadcrumbs, almonds, brown sugar and orange rind in a large bowl and stir together. Add the cherries and mix well.
Lay a sheet of filo pastry out on a clean dish towel and brush lightly with melted margarine. Place a second sheet of filo on top and brush with margarine. Repeat with the third sheet.
Spoon the fruit filling evenly over the pastry, leaving a 2 cm margin clear around the edges. Fold in the edges along the short sides.
With the help of the dish towel, roll up from a long side to make a thick sausage shape. Transfer to the prepared sheet, placing the seam underneath and curving the strudel slightly to fit, if necessary. Brush with the remaining margarine, then scatter over the flaked almonds.
Bake cherry and almond strudel for 20 minutes or until the pastry and almonds are golden-brown. Dust with the icing sugar and serve hot or warm, with a little Greek-style yogurt, if desired.
Per serving: 198 calories, 4 g protein, 9 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 26 g total carbohydrate, 19 g sugars, 3 g fibre, 97 mg sodium
Almonds are a good source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect against heart disease.