These sweet German pies, known as weichselstrudel, have a sticky, jam-like filling of sour cherries. They’re sprinkled with sugar and flaked almonds, then baked until golden.
- 500 g frozen sour cherries (see Note) or regular frozen cherries, defrosted
- 75 g (⅓ cup) caster sugar
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 1 cinnamon quill
- 150 g ricotta or quark (see Note)
- 1½ tbsp pure icing sugar, sifted
- ½ vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
- ½ lemon, zested
- 4 butter puff pastry sheets
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 40 g (½ cup) flaked almonds
- demerara sugar, to scatter
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Combine cherries, sugar, cornflour and cinnamon in a saucepan over low heat, stirring to combine. Increase heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until thick and syrupy. Set aside to cool completely.
Meanwhile, place ricotta, icing sugar, vanilla seeds and zest in a bowl and mix to combine.
Preheat oven to 200ºC. Cut pastry into 8 cm x 8 cm x 24 cm rectangles. Working with one rectangle at a time, spread one-eighth of the ricotta mixture along the bottom half, leaving a 2 cm border around the edges. Make a small indentation in the centre of the ricotta and top with one-eighth of the cherry mixture. Brush edges with beaten egg and fold top half of pastry over to enclose. Press edges to seal, then using the circular top of a metal skewer or a fork, crimp edges. Brush pastries with beaten egg, then scatter with almonds and demerara sugar. Make two small incisions in the top of each pastry. Transfer to an oven tray lined with baking paper and bake for 30 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Serve warm.
• Frozen sour cherries are available from delis and specialty food shops.
• Quark is a fresh European-style cottage cheese available from select delis, greengrocers and specialty food shops.
Photography by Brett Stevens. Food preparation by Phoebe Wood and Leanne Kitchen. Styling by Kirsten Jenkins.
As seen in Feast magazine.