After the debacle with the bought puff pastry, I was a bit nervous about the packet of fillo that was still sitting in my freezer.
I shouldn’t have been, because it was superb – it was easy to handle and it baked to perfection. I’d bought a kilo of Brancourt’s farm style cottage cheese on my last visit to Costco, so I thought I’d try making June’s cheese cake recipe as a strudel…
- 500g European style cottage cheese
- 3 eggs, divided into yolks and whites
- 3 – 4 Tbsp icing sugar mixture
- 150g thick sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Rind of 1/2 lemon
- 1 large Tbsp of semolina
- 1/2 cup sultanas
- 1 – 2 tsp fine breadcrumbs
- 10 sheets of fillo pastry
- 80g unsalted butter, melted
Put the cottage cheese into a large mixing bowl, and break it up with a fork. Add the egg yolks, icing sugar mixture, sour cream and vanilla and mix to combine. Using a potato masher, mash the mix together to create a smooth consistency, then add the lemon rind and semolina. Keep mashing until smooth, then stir in the sultanas.
Beat the eggwhites until stiff, then fold half into the filling with a fork. Once combined, gently fold the other half of the eggwhites into the filling.
Lay a sheet of fillo pastry on the bench, and brush it lightly with melted butter. Lay another sheet on top, and brush it with butter, repeating until you’ve built up a stack of five sheets.
Sprinkle the top sheet with breadcrumbs, then spoon out half the filling into a log shape across the bottom of the pastry stack (working in landscape here rather than portrait). Leave an edge at the bottom and on the sides to allow for folding.
Fold in the sides to encase the filling, then carefully roll up the strudel. Brush the top edge with more butter, then seal the roll closed.
Flip the strudel over so that the seam is on the bottom, then place on a lined baking tray. Repeat with the other sheets and remaining filling. Brush both logs with more melted butter, then bake in a preheated 175C with fan oven for 30 – 40 minutes.
Transfer the baked strudel onto a wire rack to cool, then dust over the top with sifted icing sugar…
This is a delicious alternative to the Hungarian cottage cheese cake that we usually make – the fillo pastry is much lighter than the shortcrust pastry in the original recipe. Pete still prefers the slice, but Big Boy loved this version…
Oh, and I turned the leftover fillo sheets into egg and ham pies!