Give your dessert a clever name – and tell us about your recipe.
Jill's Orchard Apple Cinnamon and Cranberry Almond Strudel – named after the apples I grow myself in southwestern Wisconsin. Every fall I harvest them and some get frozen, some get eaten, many get given away, and then the balance I make into my own pie fillings and other "fillings" to go in apple slab pie, strudels, and to make applesauce. I love to preserve the fruits from our hobby farm. I truly enjoyed making this so much that I made two of them at once and presented the other to our neighbor who had watched our dog and chickens for us last weekend. They were almost as appreciative for the strudel as we were for the favor they did for us last weekend. It had been a while since I made a strudel – and I forgot that it looks intimidating, but it really isn't once you get "rolling."
What was the biggest surprise during your baking journey? Did you use any unconventional approaches? What did you learn along the way? Tell us about it!
I added the cranberries and almonds just to give the apples more color. I also cut back on the sugar and cinnamon, and the apples I used were much more tart than sweet, so it was a very good – albeit savory – strudel. I learned to just stay patient as you roll out the dough. It won't tear; while you still need to be gentle, it does take a lot to really mess it up.
How did you add a Wisconsin twist to your flavors or decoration?
I used Wisconsin grown apples and cranberries. I wasn't particularly interested in innovating with the design, but its simplicity and the ingredients make it the most Midwestern of all Danishes or puddings.
How did you do?