I loooove a good strudel, and I used to be obsessed with toaster strudels as a splurge snack when I was in high school. I decided to make my own homemade version using puff pastry inspired by Ashley Rodriguez's quick puff pastry and some tangy, silky, punchy lemon-ginger curd as the filling. —fiveandspice
For the pastry:
1 1/2 cups
plus 2 tablespoons (in other words, 26 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into dice-sized cubes
ice cold water
egg, for egg wash
For the lemon-ginger filling and cream cheese icing:
knob of ginger that's about 3 to 4 inches long
freshly squeezed lemon juice
large egg yolks
large whole eggs
unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-tablespoon pieces
cream cheese, at room temperature
freshly squeezed lemon juice
(about) confectioners' sugar
In This Recipe
To make the pastry, in a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, quickly cut in the butter until it is incorporated and in pecan-sized chunks. Pour in the water and stir with a wooden spoon, or gently mix it in with your hands, until you have a shaggy mess of dough.
Smoosh the dough into a sort-of rectangle (it will be very messy and haphazard seeming). Smash the right third over the center and the left third over that (as if you were folding a formal letter), pressing it together with your hands. Turn the dough a quarter turn (90°) and repeat the fold, then turn the dough a quarter turn and repeat the fold once more. Tightly wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.
In the meantime, make your lemon curd. Grate your ginger and place it into a fine mesh sieve. Squeeze the ginger juice out of the ginger pulp and reserve. Combine the ginger juice, lemon juice, sugar, egg yolks, whole eggs, and salt in a metal bowl and whisk to combine.
Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Add the butter chunks and cook, whisking constantly, until the butter is melted. Continue to cook over moderate heat until the mixture thickens to a loose pudding-like consistency (like a crème anglaise). You don’t want it to be entirely firm because you’re going to cook it more in the oven, but you do want it to be cooked enough that it thickly coats the back of the stirring spoon.
Remove the curd from the heat. Press it through a fine mesh strainer into another bowl, cover, and place in the refrigerator to set.
Continue with making the dough. Take your dough out of the refrigerator and roll it out into a rectangle about ¾-inch thick. Fold the right third into the center, then the left third over this, just as you did before, but now roll the dough out to 3/4-inch thick again using a rolling pin. Turn a quarter turn and repeat, then turn and repeat one last time. Wrap the dough back up in the plastic wrap and refrigerate another hour (yes, this is a labor of love).
Heat your oven to 375° F. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Cut it into 12 equal-sized rectangles (full disclosure, my rectangles are never even remotely the same size, but I try!). Spread half of each rectangle with lemon-ginger curd, fold it over, and use a fork to press around the edges to close them and make a pattern. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and place the pastries on them.
Beat the egg for egg wash and brush it over the pastries. Bake the pastries one baking sheet at a time until puffed and golden, around 20 to 25 minutes. While the pastries are in the oven, make the icing by beating together the cream cheese, lemon juice, milk, and confectioners’ sugar until you have a thick but drizzle-able glaze.
When the pastries come out of the oven, transfer them to a cooling rack set over a baking sheet, then drizzle or smear them with the icing while still warm. Eat and feel happy.
I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (www.vikredistillery.com), where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.