BAKE-OFF: Paula Deen’s Apple Strudel

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So….. my friends Hillary, Jen and I just love to bake and we thought it’d be fun to see what happens when we all took one recipe and approached it in three different ways. You see Hillary, she likes to play with ingredients, trying to find healthy’ish alternatives to a rather standard ingredients. Jen on the other hand likes to take it even a step further and finds substituting for healthy ingredients a game if you will. Then there is me *insert awkward pause*. With one of my favorite combos since childhood as butter and sugar whipped together. Horrible. I know. So as you could imagine, I’ll be taking one for the team and making this recipe in all its surgary and buttery glory.  The coolest part about this bake-off is that this will be a forever new series on all our sites, so get ready for the last Friday of each month to be a time of baking.

So, get ready to me amazed, lets see who wins this bake-off battle. Who’s recipe will you be trying?  This month we’re tackling Paula Deen’s Apple Strudel, and if you’re trying my take of the strudel, I suggest enjoying it with an early morning cup of tea, giving your body the entire day to work it off. SERIOUSLY.

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Paula Deen’s Apple Strudel {original recipe here}

Apple Strudel
1/4 cup Apple Juice
1/2 cup Raisins
3 Apples | granny smith, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
1/2 Lemon | juiced
1 tbsp Lemon Zest
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup Brown Sugar | packed
1/2 cup Shortbread Cookies | crushed
1/4 cup Pecans | chopped
2 tbsp Butter | dicedcubed
5 sheets Phyllo Dough | store bought
2 tbsp Butter | melted
1 tbsp Sugar | white
Confectioners’ Sugar
Caramel Sauce | store bought

Glaze
2 cups Confectioners’ Sugar
3 1/2 tbsp Milk

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, pour the apple juice over your raisins and microwave on high for 45 seconds. Leave them aside to sit for at least 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the raisins, apples, lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon, brown sugar, cookie crumbs, pecans, and cubed butter.

Remove the phyllo dough from the box, unfold, and cover with a damp towel {super important, they dry out fast. take my word for it}. Place a single sheet of phyllo on your work surface and brush it lightly with your melted butter. Do this 4 more times, stacking remaining sheets, brushing each as you go with melted butter.

Place your apple mixture on your phyllo stack, the longest edge closest to you, being sure to leave a 2-inch border. Gently lift the phyllo stack, covering the filling and fold the side edges in. Continue rolling the stack away from you until the filling is completely sealed in and the seam is on the bottom. Transfer, every so carefully, to the prepared baking sheet. Brush the top with more melted butter {because why not} and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown. Pouring over the glaze and sprinkling with a dash of cinnamon and a healthy helping of confectioners’ sugar. Pass warm caramel sauce, to drizzle over the strudel.

For the Glaze
Simply mix all your ingredients together thoroughly.

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Curious to see how Hillary and Jen did with making this recipe healthy? Pop over to their sites and see how these two are health ninjas in the kitchen. So impressed with them both! Almost makes me want to give up butter. Who are we kidding, I’m going to need 6 weeks in rehab to kick that habit!

Hillary’s Guilt-Adjacent Apple Strudel recipe HERE
Jen’s Guilt-Free Apple Strudel recipe HERE

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