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Croatian Pumpkin-Cheese Strudel Recipe - Fil za Bučnica s Sirom

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Croatian Pumpkin-Cheese Strudel

Croatian Pumpkin-Cheese Strudel

© Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
This recipe for Croatian pumpkin-cheese strudel or fil za bučnica s sirom uses grated pumpkin or butternut squash and dry curd cheese also known as farmers cheese, which you can make yourself, if you like, or purchase. This is a delightful change of pace and is so nice in the fall and winter. You might enjoy reading all about Croatian strudels.

While homemade strudel dough is the best, #7 (thicker than #4 which is used for baklava) filo dough can be used. Here's a larger photo of Croatian pumpkin-cheese strudel.

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Yield: 1 large Pumpkin-Cheese Strudel

Ingredients:

  • Strudel Dough:
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cold butter
  • Melted butter
  • Flour for rolling
  • Pumpkin-Cheese Filling:
  • 1 pound pie pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound farmers cheese (dry curd cheese)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar (or to taste)
  • 2 ounces melted and cooled butter
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (optional)

Preparation:

  1. In a small bowl, mix water, vinegar and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Place flour in a large bowl and cut the 1 tablespoon cold butter in as for pie dough. Add water mixture and stir by hand for about 5 minutes or until dough becomes smooth.

  2. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, adding as little extra flour as possible. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, prepare the filling by combining the pumpkin and salt in a medium bowl. Let sit for 20 minutes and then drain, squeezing out excess liquid. Add cheese, eggs, sour cream, sugar, 2 ounces melted and cooled butter, cinnamon and lemon zest, if using. Stir to combine. Set aside.

  4. Cover a large table with a clean cotton tablecloth (it will become stained from the fat in the dough, so use an old tablecloth). Sprinkle the cloth lightly with flour. Place the dough in the center of the cloth and brush it with melted butter. Roll the dough to a 1/8-inch thickness.

  5. Begin stretching the dough either over the backs of your hands or palm-side up, whichever works best for you. Work quickly, continually lifting the dough and stretching it by pulling your hands apart until it is almost paper thin and drapes over the sides of the table. See Serbian Cheese Strudel Making to get the idea. Using kitchen shears, trim off the thicker outer edges of the strudel dough.

  6. Place rack in middle of oven and heat to 400 degrees. Brush the dough liberally with melted butter. Place the pumpkin-cheese filling along one long edge in a 3-inch-wide strip, 2 inches from the edges.

  7. Use the tablecloth to roll the strudel away from you, jellyroll fashion, until it is completely rolled. Brush the top of the strudel with melted butter. Cut into sections that will fit your baking sheets and tuck in ends of strudel.

  8. Place parchment on baking sheets and transfer strudel sections to them, seam-side down. Bake 10 minutes, reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake 20 to 25 minutes more or until strudel is crisp and golden.

  9. Remove from oven, cool slightly and then cut on an angle into slices. Dust with confectioners' sugar. You may also cool completely to make the slicing easier and then rewarm in a microwave. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve as is or with a dollop of whipped cream or scoop of ice cream.
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