Dessert, Vegetarian

4 large baking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
2 firm ripe pears, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 Tbsp lemon juice (preferably fresh)
1/4 cup brown sugar or granular Splenda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp whole wheat or all-purpose flour
8 sheets phyllo dough
2 to 3 Tbsp canola oil or melted tub margarine
1 cup Special K cereal, finely crushed
1 Tbsp granulated sugar or granular Splenda mixed with 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, for sprinkling

The aroma of apples, pears, and cinnamon will warm both your heart and your home. This delicious combination contains two of my favorite fruits, but you can substitute your own favorites. Easy, yet elegant!

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the apples, pears, lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour; toss to combine.
  3. Place one sheet of phyllo dough on a dry work surface, with the longer side facing you. (Keep the remaining phyllo covered with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.) Brush the top side lightly with oil, and then sprinkle lightly with the crushed cereal. Place another sheet of phyllo on top of the first one; brush with oil and sprinkle with crushed cereal. Repeat until you have 3 layers, then top with a fourth layer of phyllo. Don’t brush the top layer with oil or add the crumbs. Spoon half of the filling in a line along the bottom edge of the phyllo layers, leaving a 11/2-inch border at the bottom and on the sides. Fold both of the shorter sides inwards and, starting with the bottom, carefully roll up the phyllo. Place the roll, seam-side down, on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Repeat Step 3 with the remaining phyllo dough and filling to make a second strudel. Brush the tops of the strudels lightly with oil and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut partially through the top of the dough, but not through the filling, marking 6 slices per strudel.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden. Fruit should be tender when strudel is pierced with a knife. At serving time, use a serrated knife to slice completely through.

Yield: 12 servings. Will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days; reheats well. It can be frozen for up 2 months: it will be delicious, but the dough won’t be as crisp.

142 calories per serving, 27.9 g carbohydrate, 3.2 g fiber, 2 g protein, 3.3. g fat (0.4 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 82 mg sodium, 142 mg potassium, 2 mg iron, 17 mg calcium

Chef’s Secrets

 Heat and Eat: To reheat the strudel, bake it uncovered at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes. Don’t microwave the strudel or the dough will be soggy. It’s delicious topped with low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt.

 Mix It Up! Instead of pears, experiment with other fruits such as plums, pears, peaches, nectarines, blueberries, and pitted cherries.

 Go Nuts! Instead of crushed cereal, substitute 1/2 cup ground almonds and sprinkle lightly between the phyllo layers.

Nutrition Note

 Sweet Choice: With Splenda, one serving contains 129 calories and 24.5 g carbohydrate.