That great mainstay of crumble and pies is actually a vegetable but treated as a fruit. It goes particularly well with orange, ginger and strawberries. Forced rhubarb is available from around February, with main crop rhubarb available March to June. Rhubarb is usually poached or roasted with sugar then made into pies, crumble, compotes and fools or made into jam and as a child I remember picking the very thin stems and dipping them raw into sugar before eating.
Rhubarb filling scattered over the filo pastry. Leave a wider margin on the RHS.
This strudel is delicious – tart rhubarb mixed with currants and sultanas, flavoured with ginger and orange and encased in buttery light filo pastry. Serve it with creme fraiche or lightly whipped cream for a show stopping finale to a meal.
Serves 6 – 8
1 pack filo pastry
700g rhubarb – thinly sliced
Strudel ready to go into the oven.
125g sultanas and currants mixed
80g soft light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
rind of 1 large orange
60g lightly toasted breadcrumbs – made by either drying out in the oven or toasting gently in a dry frying pan.
All crisp and golden – ready for icing sugar.
2 tbsp olive oil
Set the oven to 200C/400F/Gas6
Melt the butter and olive oil together, lay a large cloth or 2 tea towels slightly overlapped on your work surface with the long edge nearest to you.
Unroll the filo pastry and brush the top layer with the melted butter and oil mixture. Transfer to the tea towel and continue buttering the pastry and overlapping slightly on the tea towels until the towels are covered in a double layer of pastry.
A dusting of icing sugar covers a multitude of sins!
Mix the remaining filling ingredients together and scatter evenly over the half of the pastry which is nearest to you.
Take the long edge of the tea towel nearest to you and use it to help roll up the pastry and filling until you have a sausage shape. The portion of pastry without filling will wrap around the whole strudel, making the outside a bit stronger.
Great with a cup of coffee or as a pudding after a special meal.
Use the tea towels to transfer the strudel to a baking sheet – bend the ends round if it’s too big. Patch any tears or breaks with any left over pastry by buttering them and sticking them to the strudel.
Bake for 40 min. Once cooked dredge in icing sugar and allow to cool a bit before serving.