Lazy Day Apple Strudel

Apparently, Cleo and I are both into fruit this week. Must be the season. While she was picking out peaches in New York, I was having fun selecting all kinds of apples at a farmers' market in Virginia.

But what would I make?

It was in the 90's this week, which made baked apples unappealing. Cake and pie didn't lure me, but the light, buttery crispness of filo seemed just right.

When I was growing up, apple strudel was a regular event around our house. It started early in the morning, with the making of the dough, which was eventually rolled and stretched out into a massive sheet.

My mom snagged any family member around to help peel and slice apples. All sorts of things went into it, depending on her whim -- sour cream, walnuts, raisins. I have to admit that I never was a big fan of her whole wheat apple strudels. Some things are best with regular flour. The top of the strudel was crisp and sweet, and my dad loved to steal it off my plate.

Enough with memory lane. I have a book to finish, and I don't have an army of people to consume a gigantic apple strudel. So I opted to make a lazy person's apple strudel. Definitely not the same, but still delicious. I kept my strudel very simple because I wanted to highlight the flavor of those wonderful fresh apples. If you're so inclined, you can add raisins, dried fruit like cherries or cranberries, or toss in a handful of nuts.

Lazy Day Apple Strudel

1/2 stick butter (4 tablespoons)

10 sheets thawed filo dough

4 apples

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon flour

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400.

Peel and slice the apples. I used slices about 1/4 inch thick. Toss the apples with the lemon juice, flour, sugar, and cinnamon and let stand.

Melt the butter (I use the microwave for 30 seconds). Brush each sheet of filo dough with melted butter and stack on the previous sheet. Pour the apple mixture in a line in the middle lengthwise. Adjust the apples, leaving a bit less close to the edges. Bring one half of the filo up over the apples. Brush with butter. Flip the remaining half of the filo up over top and brush with butter.

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350, and bake another 25 minutes.

If you have any of Cleo's Ginger Whipped Cream left over, it would be mighty tasty with the apple strudel -- but it's also good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or just plain!