With the apple strudel challenge completed, it was time to tackle the next one, cheese strudel. Cheese strudel is my MIL’s favorite (apple is the Mister’s). The good thing about this challenge was that the hard part was already taken care of. Now just to figure out the cheese filling. Based on MIL’s recollection of her mother’s cheese strudel, it was basically cottage cheese, eggs, lemon zest and some sugar just to give a hint of sweetness. Quite frankly, the filling sounded a little bland to me and I felt something was missing. So I decided to come up with one of my own but still using cottage cheese. I’ve made Ina’s cheese danish before and enjoyed very much so I decided to take some elements from that. There were several sweet cheese strudel filling recipes out on the Internet, mostly calling for sour cream and farmers cheese (or dry curd). Those had some elements of Gram’s recipe and gave me an idea as to how much cottage cheese to use for a single strudel.
Results? MIL said the filling was spot on. I thought it was pretty good although I much prefer a cheese danish and the apple strudel. I wasn’t sure if the filling was sweet enough at first but both the Mister and MIL said the cheese strudel is not suppose to be very sweet and that the sweetness was just right. Well alrighty then. Sorry no picture of a sliced piece since this went very fast. It got divided up pretty quickly (SIL was also into this whole strudel thing). What was surprising is that the cheese strudel kept very well in the fridge for 4 days (wrapped in foil). Like its apple counterpart, it heated well in the toaster oven. Nice and crispy outside, warm and delicious inside. This is one of those things where you really want to warm it up before serving. Guess what the MIL is getting for her birthday next month???
Hope everyone had a terrific Thanksgiving!
- 1½ lb cottage cheese (small curds)
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2-3 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- ½ C sugar
- ¼ C powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F on convection baking setting. If oven does not have convection, use same temperatures but will just need to bake a little longer and will need to rotate pan half way through baking.
- In a food processor (or using a hand mixer with a large bowl), blend everything together until smooth. Leave in the fridge until needed.
- Along a long edge of stretched dough about 4 inches from the edge, dollop cheese filling.
- Fold dough edge over to cover filling. Fold the short side edges over to cover the ends. Lift the sheet slowly to gently roll the strudel.
- Grease a sheet pan with Crisco/butter mixture. If using parchment paper or silicone baking mat, grease the top of sheet/mat. Lift strudel into pan, making an “S” shape to fit. Generously brush the top and side of strudel with Crisco/butter mixture.
- Bake at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 400 degrees F. If using convection baking, bake for another 20 minutes. If using standard baking, bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the strudel is golden brown.
- Cool a bit before serving. Best served warm.
- Reheat in oven at 325 degrees F for about 12-15 minutes to crisp up dough and warm the cheese filling.