Our resident photographer and head gardener (among many other things), Andrea Barrist Stern is passionate about living a vegan lifestyle. She is also passionate about strudel. Of the recipe passed down through her family, she says: “I can hardly remember a holiday or party when either my mother, Edith Barrist, or my Aunt Polly didn’t make strudel. My sister-in-law, Lynn, and I have continued that tradition so, today, there is almost no special event in our family or among my friends without it. A vegetarian most of my life, I became a vegan in 2005 and the very first recipe I veganized was strudel. For a long time, no one was the wiser. I simply enjoyed watching everyone savor it, and never said a word.” This recipe is way easier than the number of steps would seem to indicate. We hope it will become a tradition in your family, too. (Andrea has tried without success to make this gluten-free as well. If anyone out there masters it, please let us know.)
Makes approximately 40 pieces (Can easily double recipe to make 80 pieces – 8 strips)
2 Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, cut into small pieces
8 ounces Tofutti cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3 cups walnuts
ground cinnamon, for sprinkling
about 3 tablespoons sugar
8 ounces golden raisins
2 (13-ounce) jars of your favorite preserves (quality is important here)
Tofutti sour cream, at room temperature
- Put the Earth Balance pieces and cream cheese into a food processor and pulse until they begin to blend.
- Add 2 tablespoons of the flour to processor and blend, then add the remaining flour. Pulse until a rough ball of dough is formed.
- Heavily dust your work surface with flour. Shape dough into a smooth ball and cut into 4 equal pieces.
- Dust each cut edge of dough with flour, and roll each piece into a ball.
- Wrap the dough balls in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- In a clean food processor bowl, finely chop the walnuts to a bread crumb consistency.
- Working with 1 ball of dough at a time, flatten the dough with your palms on a well-floured surface, then roll with a well-floured rolling pin into an oval shape, gently lifting and turning the dough several times and adding more flour to the surface as needed.
- Continue rolling until you have an approximately 14- x 18-inch shape.
- Sprinkle generously with cinnamon, about _ tablespoon of sugar, 5 heaping tablespoons of nuts, and 3 handfuls of raisins.
- Drop preserves by the spoonful, about _ teaspoon at a time.
- Using a pastry tool as shown in the accompanying photos, fold the edges of the dough over on all sides. Gently loosen the dough from your surface as you roll lengthwise to the end of the dough.
- Gently transfer the rolled pastry to a parchment-lined cookie sheet. (See photo.) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Scrape your surface clean, remove the next dough ball from the refrigerator and repeat steps 7 through 12 until you have rolled, shaped, and filled all the dough balls.
- Spread a thin layer of sour cream over the tops of the rolls.
- Bake for about 20 -25 minutes, or until the strudel is lightly browned. Cool for 1 hour before cutting.
- Trim the ends off each roll and discard. (Or eat. Andrea’s mastiffs would lay on the kitchen floor during the entire process waiting for the ends.) Slice each roll into approximately 10 pieces. Place pieces in decorative foil baking cups.