A make-ahead breakfast treat!
I have a bit of a weakness for breakfast pastries, especially fruit-filled goodies like strudels and Danishes, but often find the store-bought ones way too sweet for my liking. This version is more fruit-forward and quite easy to make thanks to packaged puff pastry. Best of all, you can assemble it the night before so when you get up, you simply move it from fridge to oven. The same method would work will with blueberries or pitted, chopped sweet cherries. And a tip: make sure the puff pastry is thawed but still cold when you start this recipe. If you enjoy this recipe, be sure to check out my apple pie strudel.
- 2 cups (250 g) sliced fresh strawberries
- 2 tablespoons (25 g) white sugar
- 1 tablespoon (7.5 g) cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon (15 mL) cold water
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
Note: you can substitute 3/4 cup (240 g) of strawberry jam if you prefer
Cream Cheese Filling:
- 1/3 cup (40 g) cream cheese, softened
- 1 tablespoon (12.5 g) white sugar
- 1 tablespoon (9 g) flour
- 1 egg white, beaten (save yolk for brushing pastry)
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons (23 g) icing sugar
- 2 teaspoon (10 mL) milk
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) vanilla extract
- 1 sheet (225 g) frozen butter puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator
- 1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 teaspoon (5 mL) cold water
- In medium-sized saucepan, combine strawberries and sugar; cook over medium heat stirring frequently until sugar is dissolved. Mash with a potato masher or the back of a fork until berries are broken down. Reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While berries are simmering, combine cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl, stirring until smooth. Whisk into strawberry mixture and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in vanilla and lemon juice. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until completely cooled, about 30 minutes.
- Make cream cheese filling by combining cream cheese, sugar, egg white, vanilla and flour in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- If baking the strudel immediately, preheat oven to 425F.
- Prepare pastry by rolling out dough between two sheets of parchment paper to form a rectangle slightly larger than 8 x 10 (20 x 25 cm) inches. Place pastry, still resting on bottom sheet of parchment, on a baking tray, with the short side closest to you.
- Starting at bottom right corner of pastry, using a sharp knife, cut 3-inch lines from the outside edges towards the centre of the pastry, about 1 inch apart (see first picture below). If strawberry filling is not yet cooled, refrigerate pastry until ready to assemble the strudel.
- To assemble, spoon cream cheese filling down the centre of the pastry, in a line no more than 2 inches wide. Spoon strawberry filling over top of the cream cheese (it will spread a little wider but try to keep it on the uncut portion down the middle of the pastry (see second picture below).
- Cover the berries by folding the strips of pastry over top, alternating left and right and overlapping slightly (see third picture below). The berry filling may peek out a bit, and that’s ok. At this point, you can cover the unbaked strudel with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.
- When ready to bake, brush the top of the pastry with the egg yolk and water mixture. Put in oven (which you’ve preheated to 425F) and immediately reduce heat to 400F. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until pastry is a deep golden brown colour.
- While pastry is baking, prepare glaze by whisking together icing sugar, milk and vanilla in a small bowl. Add a tiny bit more milk if glaze is too thick to drizzle.
- After removing strudel from oven, let it cool for 15 minutes, then drizzle glaze over top. Cut into portions and serve.
Serves 4 – 6.