Making phyllo at home is a laborious process, and supermarkets often sell good fresh or frozen phyllo. If you use frozen dough, thaw it overnight before, and don't refreeze -- it will be too brittle.
- Yield: Makes two 12-inch strudels
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup finely ground almonds
- 1/4 cup finely ground walnuts
- 2 pounds Cortland, Macoun, Winesap, or other good baking apples (about 8 small), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1/3 cup golden raisins
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 16 sheets phyllo
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Brush a large baking pan with melted butter; set aside. Combine almonds and walnuts in a small bowl; set aside.
Combine apples, raisins, 2 tablespoons sugar, lemon zest, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Bring 3/4 cup water and cornstarch to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring constantly until thick and smooth. Add 4 remaining tablespoons sugar, and stir until dissolved. Pour over apples. Stir to combine.
Place a sheet of phyllo on a flat work surface to form a square. Brush with butter. Place a second sheet over the first. Brush with butter. Repeat four times.
Spread 1/4 cup nuts over bottom third of phyllo in a 1-inch-wide line parallel to and about 3 inches from the edge of pastry. Top with a sheet of phyllo. Brush with butter. Spread half of apple mixture in a 3 1/2-inch-wide line covering the nuts; sprinkle with cinnamon. Top with a sheet of phyllo. Brush with butter. Fold in right and left sides of phyllo about 1 inch. Fold phyllo over once to cover apples. Brush with butter. Roll like a cigar almost to end, brushing all surfaces with butter. Fold in ragged edges, and brush with butter. Finish rolling, and place, seam-side down, in prepared pan.
Brush with butter. Cut six 1-inch diagonal slits in top of roll. With fingers, slightly widen slits. Repeat with remaining phyllo and filling.
Transfer to oven, and bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Lower heat to 350 degrees. Continue baking until juices are bubbling and apples are tender when pierced with a knife, 30 to 40 minutes more.