By Marge Perry and David Bonom
Phyllo is wonderfully forgiving and easy to work with—as long as it remains supple. As you work, keep the stack of dough covered with a damp cloth or paper towel to prevent it from drying out.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- 4 golden delicious apples 1 3/4 pounds, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon sugar divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon ground
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg ground
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 10 sheets phyllo dough (14 x 9-inch)
- 3 tablespoons cornflake crumbs
- sweetened whipped cream for serving (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the apples and 1/4 cup of the sugar; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, 4-5 minutes. Stir in the cherries, vanilla extract, cinnamon, allspice and almond extract; cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender and the liquid has evaporated, 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat, transfer the mixture to a bowl and let cool 15 minutes.
- Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons in a small saucepan over low heat. Place 1 sheet of the phyllo on a work surface with the long edge closest to you and brush with butter. Repeat with 2 more sheets of phyllo and butter; after brushing the third sheet with butter, sprinkle it with 2 ½ teaspoons of cornflake crumbs. Repeat, adding cornflake crumbs after every third sheet, until you have used 9 sheets of phyllo dough. Top with a 10th sheet and brush with butter.
- Spread the apple filling over the surface of the phyllo leaving a 2-inch border clear all the way around. Fold the short side of the phyllo over the filling and roll it up, jellyroll style, lengthwise. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons cornflake crumbs and the remaining 1 teaspoon sugar.
- Bake until the strudel is lightly browned and crisp, 23-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with whipped cream if desired.
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