I’m excited to share with you today another recipe using pastry dough aka phyllo or filo sheets. The first time I’ve ever used phyllo sheets was earlier this year when I made this Pistachio Baklava with Cardamom and Rose Water and it was a hit! Gone within a day! Now that apple season is in full effect, I wanted to bring a new take on an “apple pie” onto URBAN BAKES.
I must admit, I’ve done little research on the origin of strudel (new dessert to me) but what I have noticed were its common filling ingredients which are apples and cinnamon. I decided to swap the cinnamon for cardamom. After all, I had plenty of this spice left from the baklava so it only made sense to use it again and to change up the cinnamon-spice commotion with almost every dessert under the sun made for Fall baking. Let me tell you, best decision ever!
Speaking of SUN, I have a special announcement I have got to get off my chest…
This urban girl is moving to the urban desert of ARIZONA where there will be sun 300 days a year! Phoenix, more specifically. Ahh- Super excited!
I can’t believe this is happening. It still feels surreal by the mere thought that in less than 2 weeks my life will change but I am SO excited of what’s to come and feel blessed to be given the chance to pick up my things and go! I know you might be thinking, “What? Arizona! But why? Because of a job?” I laugh at this every time because for the past week, this is the same reaction I’ve received from everyone. To answer this question, I could be here forever trying to explain why I’m leaving the BIG APPLE.
Let’s put it this way, I’ve had to overcome many obstacles during the past year, it wasn’t fun and for my personal well-being, I’ve pretty much stayed the same. You may have sensed something wasn’t right within these posts here and here. Luckily, there were a few things I have found sanity in. First and foremost, my love and acceptance of God- was once agnostic but as of midsummer, I have been saved (getting a bit emotional at the moment because this in itself, has its own long chapter). There’s also the gym, this blog- I love you all because it is YOU who keep this space alive and lastly, my precious dogs that I adore so very much.
I can only give you a glimpse of why I’m making the move because I know could easily type a book here about my life experiences thus far, but I’m hoping this will give you a better understanding of where I’m coming from that has caused me to make the sudden change.
I never had a straightforward calm childhood, persay. Tough times became more evident at the age of 16 and the best way for me to describe it would be I grew up feeling “lost” in the interim and without faith to give me peace made situations worse. I’ve had no choice but to live a nomadic life due to countless of unstable conditions and being independent by the age of 17, I learned to grow up fast. Too fast for my own good because it caused premature decisions to be made which weren’t always the smartest decisions. Needless to say, my journey of the constant upward battle had continued, leaving me to remain stagnant in almost every aspect of my life and quite honestly, I am over it. I am utterly exhausted of going the same route.
I love NY, it’s my home and there’s no place like it. And I will certainly miss the urban streets, the nightlife, my family and friends and so much more but for the mentioned reasons, I need a change of direction and have decided it’s time to start over. This time, on the west side. Wish I could say west “coast” but I’m not there yet. Regardless, Arizona to me will be a new environment, a new climate, new people, new job. Do everything new and without an ounce of fear because this time, I have faith; this is what He wants.
Did I forget to mention I’ve always dreamed of visiting California and over the past 2 years, I frequently vision myself living there. So maybe Arizona is place holder until it’s my time to move to Cali because deep down, I get this feeling that’s where I’m destined to live. But only God knows, right? For now, I’ll be staying with my good friend Monica for 2 months in Payson to get to know the layout of the land of Phoenix. Then, my goal is to have my own spot with of course, my two furbabies. :)
With all this said, what does this mean for you? First, because my move date is quickly approaching, I am catching up on recipes and projects I have established with a few companies. I want to make sure I use the kitchen I have now to the max. Although where I will be, there is a bigger kitchen, I plan to take only 2 suitcases: one for clothes, the other hopefully of baking material. Once I move to a more permanent location, I’ll then have my belongings from storage shipped over.
But I’d like to state that when I get there, I will have my hands full, not with flour (although I wish!) but with getting a car, looking for a job (hopefully in Phoenix) and for an apartment. Therefore yes, unfortunately recipes/postings may slow down a bit during the holiday season and I do apologize but I have to take this time to adjust to these changes.
There’s still more to come. I love this job and wouldn’t trade it for anything! When posts begin to slow down, believe me, I will come back. And I will come back further, just like an arrow. Until then, I can’t get over how excited I am. I’M MOVING TO THE WEST SIDE! YAY!! #getexcited :D
PS: If you have any tips on long-distance moving, places to see/do, restaurants to eat, things to watch out for, anything regarding Arizona, please leave a comment below or send me an email. I’ve never been but I’m crazy and still excited to go!
- ½ cup (8 tablespoons) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon apple cider
- 3-4 large baking apples, peeled, cored and sliced to 1/4–inch thick
- 10 (9x14-inch) phyllo pastry sheets, thawed
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted
- 1 tablespoon turbinado or any coarse sugar
- In a large bowl, mix 6 tablespoons granulated sugar, cardamom, lemon juice and apple cider together. Toss sliced apples in to coat; set aside.
- Heat oven to 475 degrees F. Line a large jelly roll pan with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper and position pan with its short side facing you. Lay 1 phyllo sheet toward the left of the long side of the pan leaving about 1 inch of sheet hang over the rim. Brush the entire sheet with melted butter and using the remaining 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar, sprinkle a pinch.
- Lay a second sheet toward the right side of the pan, about 2-3 inches overlapping the first sheet from the center. About 1 inch of sheet should hang over the rim. Brush the sheet with butter and sprinkle sugar. Repeat this process of alternating sheets, butter and sugar for the remaining 8 sheets.
- Lay apple slices in a 4-inch wide mound over the center of the sheets. Be sure to leave at least 2-inches free from the edge. Sprinkle walnuts. Fold over one long side of the pastry sheet to cover the apple filling followed by the other long side. Tuck in the short opening ends into the strudel covering any exposed filling. Gently flip the strudel seam-side down. Brush the top with butter, cut 4 2-inch vents across the top and sprinkle turbinado sugar.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the strudel becomes golden brown in color. Allow strudel to cool to for 30 minutes before slicing and serving. ENJOY!
Have you made any of my recipes? I would love to see them. Snap a pic and use the #urbanbakes on your public Instagram and Twitter.