Nothing says holiday better than the enticing smell of dough steadily baking in the oven. And when you know your daughter is going to be the first to try out your creations, you really want to have a satisfied customer, so you try your hardest to please 🙂 This year, we’ll be spending Thanksgiving with my mom, around a dinner table that will be brimming with turkey (brined and roasted as per a Morton Salt recipe I’m trying for the first time ever!), pork soup, manicotti and potatoes au gratin. For dessert, we’ll have banana bread and ricotta strudel.
The original strudel recipe I posted last year called for a seasonal pumpkin filling. For diversification purposes, this year I decided to use ricotta, which is one of DH and our daughter’s all-time favorite dessert ingredients. I too am a big fan of ricotta, a velvety Italian cheese which is deliciously mild and chronically underappreciated, in my opinion. I bought a big container of ricotta from the local grocery store, and I’ll be using half in the strudel and half in the manicotti. An Italian-inspired Thanksgiving, with a touch of Austrian influence – hmmmm, it sounds just about right to us 🙂
Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving!
Delicious Thanksgiving strudel
Preheat the oven to 350F.
For the cheese filling, mix the ricotta with the powdered sugar and the raisins in a bowl until homogeneous.
To make dough element #1, put 2 cups of flour in a bowl.
In a separate cup combine the dry yeast with about 1 tbsp water.
Add the yeast&water mixture to the flour, then add 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 cup water and the salt.
Mix the resulting dough until smooth and homogeneous. Let the dough rest.
To make dough element #2, put one third of the flour in a bowl.
Add one third of the vegetable oil, and then mix (I used a fork for mixing).
Continue adding the flour and the oil slowly, alternating between the two. The resulting dough must have a sour cream-like consistency.
Take dough element #1 and roll it on a dry surface with a rolling pin until about 1/4in thin.
Spread “dough element #2” evenly on top of dough element #1, using a fork.
Roll the resulting dough into a cylinder. Let the dough rest for about 15 minutes.
Roll the dough on a dry surface with a rolling pin until about 1/4in thin.
Spread the strudel filling evenly on top of it.
Roll the resulting dough into several small, easy to handle cylinders.
Use a fork/a knife to make several small incisions in the dough.
Place the dough cylinders in a baking pan. There is no need to butter or oil the pan!
Using your hands, moisten the top of the dough with a bit of water, then sprinkle granulated sugar evenly on top.
Place the pan in the oven and bake the strudel for about 45 minutes or until golden brown.
Take the strudel out of the oven and let it cool.
Cut the strudel into medium-size slices. Serve it with powdered sugar and toasted chopped walnuts sprinkled on top. If you wish, you can add whipped cream to make your dessert creamy and truly decadent!