Posts Tagged ‘sour cream pastry’

Three Doughs, Endless Possibilities: Old World Mock Strudel

December 29, 2011

I mentioned in my last post that Grandma Rose’s filled cookies are a bit labor intensive, with a lot of rolling and shaping. The dough gets divided into four parts, and by the time I had rolled and filled the first three parts, I was ready for something new to do with the remaining quarter of dough.

Grandma Rose’s dough is versatile. You can use it for many pastry purposes, but I was particularly keen on using it for making mock strudel.

Mock strudel is another “old world” delicacy that is substitutes flaky pastry dough for strudel dough. My husband’s grandmother used to make a pareve version (and Batmitbach has posted a pareve pastry strudel from her husband’s grandmother).

Many years ago Marrion Burros and Lois Levine published a recipe for this kind of mock strudel in Elegant But Easy (1960). The revised version of this cookbook (1998) also featured Ann Amernick’s variation on this recipe.

The original filling from Elegant But Easy: 6 ounces marmalade, 6 ounces apricot jam, 6 Tbl.  cup brown sugar, 1 Tbl. cinnamon, 1 cup chopped walnuts, and 1/2 cup golden raisins. The jam is spread over 4 pieces of dough, each rolled 6″x10″, the nuts, sugar, cinnamon and raisins are sprinkled over and each pieces is rolled up like a jelly roll and baked whole. It is kind of a cross between rugelach and strudel.

According to Marrion Burros, Ann Amernick’s filling was different because it called for all apricot jam, no brown sugar and lots more cinnamon, nuts, raisins and currant. Ann Amernick has actually published a few different versions of this recipe (I guess she must keep revising it). In all her versions, Ann Amernick adds much, much more filling than the Elegant But Easy version, pulling it away from its similarity to rugelach.

I ended up going with the version that appears in her 1992 book, Special Desserts, but I will explain her more recent versions.

Why did I want to make this strudel and why did I go with Ann Amernick’s version (well, one of her versions)? Well, Ann Amernick is a top-notch pastry chef with many, many years of experience. She worked as Roland Mesnier’s pastry assistant at the White House during the Carter era (she remembers the time they koshered the White House kitchen). She was pastry chef for Jean-Louis Palladin.  Her pastry role models are Gaston Lenotre and Yves Thuries. And she said in an EGullet interview that the one food she cannot resist is this particular strudel. “I love it more than anything,” she said.

Now, THAT is a dessert I have to try.