What's For Dessert: Blackberry Strudel

Showcase your favorite summertime berries in this surprisingly simple to make strudel. 

Blackberry Strudel || A Less Processed Life

Oh, I cannot get enough of the summertime bounty of berries. It appears that we are going to have a bumper crop of berries this year. There's a big patch of blueberries at the base of our driveway (that neighbors, both near and far, appear to also be fans of), and the blackberry bushes that line our roadway are bursting with soon-to-be ripe berries.

Blackberry Strudel || A Less Processed Life

And of course I can't help but buy multiple pints of berries at the market, too, meaning my fridge is basically busting at the seams with berries.

Blackberry Strudel || A Less Processed Life

I wanted to make a pastry for dessert, but didn't have the patience (or time) to make a pie from scratch. Since I already had some puff pastry on hand in the freezer, I decided a strudel was in order. If you can find it, I highly recommend using an all-butter frozen puff pastry for the best flavor, but the not-so-fancy kind will work, too.

You'll need about 30-40 minutes to let the puff pastry thaw, and while the pastry comes to room temperature, you can prep the rest of your ingredients. You can use whatever berries you like for this recipe, though it helps if all of the berries are about the same size (I tend to keep things just over pea-sized).

This strudel tastes delicious warm from the oven or at room temperature. And you can't go wrong with the addition of a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on the side.

Blackberry Strudel (printer-friendly version)
makes 8 servings

1 frozen puff pastry, thawed (1/2 17.3-ounce package)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon dried orange peel [optional]
1 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger
12 ounces fresh blackberries (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
coarse sugar, for sprinkling

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out the thawed puff pastry on a floured work surface into a 15- x 12-inch rectangle. Carefully transfer the puff pastry to the prepped baking sheet and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, orange peel, and chopped ginger. Quarter any large berries into pea-sized pieces. Add the berries to the sugar mixture and stir gently to coat.
3. Spoon the berry mixture crosswise onto one half of the prepared puff pastry, spreading into an even layer one inch from the edges.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water. Brush the egg mixture around the edges of the pastry.
5. Fold the pastry to enclose the fruit. Use a fork to crimp together the edges of the pastry. Brush the top of the pastry with the egg mixture and sprinkle with the coarse sugar. Cut 3-4 slits in the top of the pastry.
6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool.

(adapted from this Better Homes & Gardens recipe)

Blackberry Strudel || A Less Processed Life