Take Your Passion and Make it Happen
pop quiz: not so much flash, but plenty of cheese
Strictly speaking we are now straying into pudding territory. A traditional strudel pastry crammed full with a cheesecake style filling. Often served with whipped cream on the side, but, without this, it can be made quite savoury and very, very filling.
Topfenstrudel is at number five in my Top 10 Vegetarian Meals available in Austrian Ski resorts. Proper strudel pastry is far too complicated to attempt, especially when perfectly good, ready-made filo pastry is readily available. The resultant strudel is a little crispier that the traditional, but just as tasty.
Topfenstrudel Recipe Ingredients
- 75g Butter
- 10g Sugar (leave out for more savoury version)
- Splash vanilla extract (leave out of savoury version)
- Pinch salt
- 1 Egg Separated
- 25g fine Polenta or Semolina
- 25g Raisins (optionally soaked in a splash of your favourite tipple or left out or replaced with chopped pepper or sundried tomato for more savoury version)
- 250g Quark Curd Cheese
- Grated peel from a lemon
- 6 sheets defrosted Filo Pastry
Topfenstrudel Recipe Method
- Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6.
- Cream together 25g of the butter with sugar (if using), vanilla (if using), salt and egg yolk.
- Add the polenta, raisins (or chopped veg alternative), curd cheese and lemon rind; mix well.
- Separately in a clean, oil free bowl, whisk the egg white until it forms stiff peaks.
- Fold this carefully into the cheese mixture.
- Melt the other 50g of butter in a plastic container in the microwave (30secs should do it).
- Wet and then squeeze out a clean tea towel, place on a flat work surface.
- Place a sheet of filo on it, brush with a little melted butter.
- Continue in this way with the other five sheets of filo.
- Pile the cheese mixture along the long side of the filo sheets, keep the mixture about 5cm from all edges then butter all the edges.
- Fold up the short edges and then carefully roll the cheese up in the filo; use the tea-towel to help keep the filling in place.
- Transfer the strudel to a baking sheet; you may need two fish slices and an extra pair of hands for this!
- Make several slash cuts along the length of the strudel, brush with any remaining butter.
- Place in the oven for about 30mins; until the pastry is golden and crispy.
Serves Six: Best fresh out of the oven. I tend towards savoury and serve mine with a pile of salad.
pop trivia: “Take your passion and make it happen” from the cheesiest movie lyric of the 80s, ‘Flashdance, What a Feeling’ by Irene Cara.