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Mama Tilly's Strudel
1 lb. Butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 C. sugar
3 eggs
1 C. sour cream
1 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. Vanilla
7 C. flour
1 tsp baking powder

1 C. Wild Plum jam or other tart jam (Doris suggests strawberry or red raspberry)
3-4 T. Cinnamon sugar
Cream the butter, sugar and salt.
Beat eggs and add sour cream, baking soda and vanilla.

Add egg mixture to sugar mixture alternately with flour that is sifted with baking powder.

Chill dough about 30 min. Roll out as for piecrust. Place one layer in 9 x 13” Pyrex (glass) pan. Spread with jam. Sprinkle each layer of pastry dough with cinnamon sugar. There should be three layers of pastry with two fillings of jam.

Bake 350 degree oven for about 30-35 min — should start to show light browning around the edges. Remove from oven, wait about 5 minutes and then cut pieces.

Leftover pastry uses:
Can be rolled out and cut into circle shapes and sprinkled with sugar to make delicate sugar cookies. Bakes in less than 10 minutes—depending on thickness.

Twists can also be made by rolling the logs in cinniman and sugar, and then twisting them -- the logs are about 4-5" in length. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bakes about 10 min.

Mama Tilly used the jam that she made from the Plum trees along their driveway on West Solway in Sioux City -- they were small sour plums not more than an inch in diameter. I refer to it as Wild Plum jam in the recipe -- they will probably be nearly impossible to find -- find something with a tartness to it.

Commentary from Earle:
It was the best my Mother ever baked. It is time consuming and it doesn't always come out right. The key is to get the right thickness of each layer of strudel, and if possible, to get them the same thickness. The right amount of cinnamon is also crucial to stubborn bastards like me, but it for me is the difference on a 1-to-10 of a certain 9 or 10 and a satisfactory 7 or 8. Doris and Chatz got it down to perfection as does my wife. The biggest sin is to experiment with the recipe so that it comes out so that you have to carry a 10-pound weight in the hand on the opposite side to where the strudel settled after consumption. I have the reputation of not eating a lot of foods and bitching like a shit when I get something I like that is a (1-to-10 again ) a 5 or 6.

But that is why making friends is not a specialty of mine when they mess up the sacred such as bad-mouthing movies I like, raving about a book I feel is second rate, and making strudel that is less than ideal.

But with the condition of my memory the past three years even an average load of strudel that I don't like much will be forgotten rather quickly and peace will reign. I know this is the period of the year when peace gets a lot P. R. so some half-assed baking is not calamity. Only my temper is or can be.





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