Happy Lunar New year!!! The world is a strange and interesting place lately…and I must say it is odd to be alive in such a tumultuous environment. It’s hard to choose optimism and kindness for many folks who are struggling right now, but I think the only choices are.. well…optimism and kindness. I know the hip thing isn’t to be nice, but it’s the right thing. I haven’t always viewed things this way, for many being a jerk is a great way to put a wall up with others and to protect your insecurities…but in order to live authentically, this defense mechanism needs a kick to the curb. Even now when I expose my soft spots, acknowledge my hurt feelings and anxieties, I feel awkward about it, so I know it isn’t easy. As I get older I realize honest communication is actually a strength opposed to a weakness, it’s human to want others to like and accept you. Studies have shown that a sense of “community” can lengthen life span and overall happiness. I feel like my circle has shrunk considerably in the last decade, but I feel like those who are in it now are there for the long haul. We all want to be liked, but we also can’t control how others feel about us….so I figure…as my mother always told me “you will catch more flies with honey than vinegar” and I want my aura to give off kindness…GOALS! Not quite there yet….but I am done burning bridges…that’s easy to do….I want to have real, authentic relationships from now on…and I am willing to start over if the other party is willing. We all are just humans and humans are imperfect, and most things can be forgiven if both parties are willing to own their shit, it does take two to tango!
Well I made some strudel, apple strudel! My mom makes great apple pie, I used her filling recipe for the most part, but instead of pastry I used phyllo. Phyllo is great, it’s a quick and forgiving way to wrap things in buttery carbohydrates! This made quite a few, and in order to not eat them all I gave ¾ of them away to my kids teachers and some neighbors, nothing says “I appreciate you” better than apple desserts! Actually maybe fat stacks of cash are better….LOL.
Here it goes:
You will need:
6 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks.
½ C. granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean split
¼ C. lemon juice
1 tsp. Cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Zest of 1 orange
Juice from same orange mixed with 2 tsp cornstarch.
Throw them apples in the pan with everything except the orange juice/cornstarch mixture. Crack your heat up to medium high, and bring apples to a simmer, cook for 10 minutes, add cornstarch mixture, stir well and reduce heat, cook an additional 10 minutes. Set aside to cool (I made mine the day before and refrigerated it).
1 box of phyllo thawed, or go crazy and make your own! Whatever you like.
2 stick of butter melted.
1 pastry brush
I used large phyllo sheets, so I had to do a bit of folding but the assembly is the same as my Tyropita recipe click here to follow see how I wrap them into triangles…basically like folding a flag!
I used about ⅓ of a cup of filling for each pie, I just made them until I ran out of filling, it made a bunch! I still have about five sheets of phyllo left, which I will use for some quick spanikopita! When you got your strudels rolled butter the tops and place on greased sheet pans. Cook in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 18 minutes until golden. One thing I may do next time is make a small slit on the top of each one before baking to release steam, a few of mine burst at the seams whilst baking. After they cooled I covered my pies in a mixture of ½ cup confectioner’s sugar and a heaping tsp of cinnamon. You can do a quick glaze if you prefer. I also cut each one in half, that is also optional.