Of all my mother in law Irene’s recipes, this is my favorite. It’s a family standard she created in the 1960’s that has withstood the test of time and pleased hundreds of guests at parties, dinners and various gatherings over the years.
This started out as a recipe from the New York Times in the 60’s. Irene modified it by replacing the original filo dough with her mothers sour cream pastry, then added vermouth to the filling along with an increased amount of sour cream. And she’s still tweaking it – tonight she told me that of late she has increased the mushroom amounts.
I’ve made this myself at least 6 times, and it’s never failed me. It’s easy to make ahead a freeze, making it prefect for parties.
If you do use this recipe, please be sure to credit Irene. It’s a one of a kind, and it’s pure gold.
½ lb. Sweet butter
½ pint sour cream
2 cups flour
¼ tsp. salt
Place flour and salt in food processor. Pulse for a second. Cut in butter and pulse ‘til crumbly, then add sour cream and pulse ‘til mixed but ready to hold together. Place on floured pastry board and knead briefly and roll into a ball. Divide in ¼’s. Refrigerate overnight.
2 tbsps. Sweet butter
1 ¼ lb. Mushrooms, finely chopped
2 tbsps. Finely chopped shallots or scallions
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsps. Dry vermouth
½ tsp. thyme
1/3 cup sour cream
Egg wash ( 1 egg, 1 tbsp water)
Remove pastry from refrigerator to warm a bit while preparing the mushroom filling.
Melt the butter in a large skillet and add the mushrooms, shallots, salt, pepper, vermouth and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is mushy. Let cool slightly. Stir in the sour cream. Cool until ready to fill pastry.
Roll out ¼ pastry on floured board as thin as possible into a 9 or 10 inch round. Sprinkle dry bread crumbs over pastry. Then, using ¼ of the cooled mushroom mixture make a sausage shape roll at the end of the pastry closest to you, about an inch in from the edge. Roll pastry like a jelly roll, closing in the ends and stretching the pastry roll gently length-wise. Place on flat cookie sheet, seam side down and proceed with the remaining pastry and filling and placing them on the same cookie sheet when each is rolled. Make an egg wash of 1 egg with 1 tsp. water and brush on the rolls. With a fork pierce top of pastry roll 3 or 4 times.
Place in freezer a few hours or overnight until frozen. Then wrap in aluminum foil for freezer storage.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap frozen strudel rolls and place on ungreased jelly roll pans about 3 inches apart. Bake about 1 hour until nicely browned on top.
Cool for 10 or 15 minutes before slicing them diagonally into serving pieces about an inch and a half wide.
Makes 4 rolls.
A few tricks for working with the cooked strudel. Get youself a long spatula and use it to remove the strudels from the pan. Here, I’ll let Irene show you how…
Cut them on a diagonal using a very sharp knife.
Then transfer to your serving platter using the long spatula again.