This cake derives its sweetness from the natural sugar of dates, adding wonderful flavor. Date spread or filling is very popular in Israel and is exported all over the world.
- 5 Cortland apples, peeled (or 3 apples and 2 Bartlett pears, peeled) -
- ½ cup orange juice -
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon -
- 1 lb pkg puff pastry, thawed overnight in refrigerator -
- 2⁄3 cup date spread -
- Egg Wash
- 1 egg blended with 1 Tbsp water -
- Confectioner’s sugar for dusting -
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Slice apples (and pears) thinly. (I like to use the slicing attachment on my food processor.) Place sliced apples in a preheated pan along with orange juice and let cook on low heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until apples soften slightly and release some of their juices. Add cinnamon and mix well.
3. Transfer apples to a strainer and drain well. (Save the juice and drink it – it’s delicious!)
4. Meanwhile, roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle about 1⁄8-inch thick. Cut the rectangle in half lengthwise, creating two pieces.
5. Place 1 piece of dough onto prepared baking sheet. Spread date filling evenly over dough, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Spoon drained apples on top of date filling and spread evenly.
6. Cut horizontal slits about ¼ inch apart in the second piece of dough. (Cut slits only in the center, leaving a border of about 1 inch without any cuts.) Place this piece of dough directly on top of the first one and press down along the edges with your fingers to seal.
7. Brush with egg wash. Bake for 25 minutes.
8. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioner’s sugar.
NOTE: As with all baked goods made with puff pastry, this strudel is delicious when served freshly baked. You can bake it a few hours ahead and just leave it on the counter lightly covered until ready to serve.