Servings: six to eight.
The combination of pears and nuts in this crackly-crisp strudel make it the perfect finish to any Mediterranean-themed menu.
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This dessert was wonderful! The flavors of the macerated pears and cognac soaked raisins coupled with the crispness of the phyllo made this the piece-de-resitance of the entire Mediterranean menu (thank you, Arlene Jacobs!)I used more of the phyllo sheets because I wanted to use all the pear slices. I have also found that using more of the sheets does not detract from the delicacy of the dish but does provide some much needed stability. Truly a winner!
I did not use the raisins but subbed some briefly soaked dried cherries for them. Also, I didn't poach the pears but simply cooked them with a little sugar and lemon juice to release the extra juices, then drained them and proceeded. Instead of using amaretti crumbs, I subbed crushed plain cheerios -- a super cheap and easy sub that I've used in many other strudels. I love the ground nuts between the pastry layers -- it adds a wonderful textural and taste element. It was a good jumping off point for me, and the technique and temperature/time instructions were just right.
Excellent. People were raving about this when they tasted it and wanted seconds. This is a very expensive dessert to make if the ingredients are not in your pantry. I purchased amaretti cookies from a liquor store but I could have used a grocery store substitute. Used regular vanilla instead of vanilla bean.
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