Skill level: Bit of effort
Costs: Cheap as chips
Using filo pastry is a fantastic way to reduce the calories of a rich pastry dessert. The paper-thin translucent sheets are commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine and sheets are often layered up for extra support. This strudel is a classic dessert, more commonly made with apples, which can be made for only a few pounds. Serve it with pouring cream, piping hot custard or cool vanilla ice-cream.
- 1tsp ground mixed spice
- 1kg ripe dessert pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
- 50g sultanas
- 75g light muscovado sugar
- 9 sheets filo pastry
- 1 medium egg white, lightly beaten
- 1tbsp icing sugar, for dusting
For best results, use firm but sweet and ripe dessert pears, such as Conference.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Fan 170°C/Gas Mark 5. Unroll the pastry, but keep well wrapped in clingfilm to avoid drying out. Place 3 sheets, slightly overlapping, on a work surface, and brush with a little egg white. Cover with another 3 overlapping sheets, brush again with the egg white, then repeat a final time.
- In a bowl, toss the pears and sultanas in the sugar and spice. Scatter the mixture onto the pastry, and then fold up the 2 shorter ends before gently rolling the pastry over to form a large long roll.
- Transfer to a greased baking tray, brush the top with remaining egg white and bake for 35-40mins until golden and puffed up.
- Transfer to a large plate and dust with icing sugar before serving.