This recipe for pumpkin strudel is a very serious rival to regular apple strudel. Consider this.
The apples are replaced with grated fresh pumpkin and the walnuts with toasted pumpkin seeds. Instead of confectioners sugar dusted on top, this baby gets a generous pour of sweet and fragrant pumpkin ale simple syrup which it eagerly absorbs and becomes a simultaneously moist and crunchy treat. Sort of like baklava.
One of my favorite ways to incorporate beer into desserts is to make a simple syrup with it. Whether making beercicles, sorbet or another recipe, reducing a sweeter craft beer to release most of the alcohol, concentrate the flavors and boost the sweetness level with brown sugar or honey is an easy and effective way to cook with beer.
In the case of this pumpkin strudel, the simple syrup strategy is more than befitting for the pumpkin ale. You may already know about how Chris and I are not too fond of pumpkin ales to drink, but love using their flavors in a variety of sweet or savory recipes. Due to the subtle pumpkin spice notes and typically pronounced sweetness. Pumpkin ale simple syrup is just about the best thing you can do with the beer style. Just our thoughts.
When choosing a pumpkin beer for this recipe stay away from pumpkin IPAs or pale ales with high IBUs (unless you are intentionally looking for bitterness). Most of the time these ales are on the sweet side and you will not need to worry about concentrating bitterness but issuing the warning just in case. I used a pumpkin ale with cranberries added which contributed a bit of welcome tartness, or rather brightness to an otherwise spice heavy brew.
As to the main ingredient of the strudel filling, I recommend using a pie pumpkin, however this recipe will work with butternut squash as well. Grating (vs dicing) your choice of winter squash allows a higher percentage of it to get coated with brown sugar and cinnamon and the flavors marry in a steamy blanket of phyllo fortified with melted butter.
I just love how unpretentious this pumpkin strudel is. It does not have to look pretty, it does not require finesse on your part to eat, it is just there to satisfy. Cannot go wrong with that!
The texture is such a part of the experience too. You have the crunch of the pumpkin seeds amidst the softness of the pumpkin flesh (not mushy, still a touch of firmness to it), wrapped in the buttery crispness of the phyllo sheets and drenched in the delicious pumpkin ale syrup. It is sooo good you guys. And it is not only to be considered a dessert.
My personal preference is to eat pumpkin strudel for breakfast with a cup of strong coffee, but I can do so in the afternoon with the same success. Because I only make it in the fall I tend to eat copious amounts of it. On several occasions it has outright replaced dinner:)
This recipe is Craft Beering’s contribution to 2017 Virtual Pumpkin Party organized by Sara from Cake Over Steak. A recipe roundup where a
number large number of food bloggers share original recipes featuring pumpkin as key ingredient.
It is Craft Beering’s first time participating in this annual ‘explosion and celebration of pumpkin recipes’ as the organizer calls the #virtualpumpkinparty. Pretty stoked because we already had a chance to see what the contributors are bringing to the table. Awesome dishes, cocktails too. Head over there to check out everyone’s contributions. You will find sooo many recipes (from past years too) that your pumpkin culinary horizon is sure to expand. Guaranteed:)
- 1 packet (about 20 sheets) of phyllo dough
- 2½ cups of grated pumpkin
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds (toasted preferred)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ stick unsalted butter (may not use it all)
- 1 12 oz pumpkin ale
- ½ cup brown sugar
- Follow the instructions of your phyllo dough packaging and thaw one of the packets from the box (about 20 sheets).
- Carve out a few slices from a pie pumpkin, clean the seeds and remove the skin, then grate using a box grater until you have enough to fill 2½ cups.
- If your pumpkin seeds are not toasted, toast them in a pan over medium high heat.
- Add the grated pumpkin, brown sugar and cinnamon and stir a few times until you see the sugar beginning to melt. Remove from heat.
- Turn the oven on to 350°.
- Melt the butter.
- Roll out 5 sheets of phyllo dough. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with ¼ of the pumpkin/sugar/seeds mixture leaving the edges free of mixture.
- Place 5 more sheets of phyllo on top, brush with butter and sprinkle another ¼ of the mixture.
- Fold the short sides of the phyllo dough inwards and then roll the layers (like a burrito).
- Repeat the above steps with the remaining 10 sheets of phyllo and remaining mixture.
- On a parchment paper lined baking sheet place the two strudel rolls and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the phyllo dough turns golden.
- While the strudel is baking, prepare the simple syrup.
- Bring the pumpkin ale to simmer in a sauce pan and add the brown sugar. Let reduce for about 10 minutes, remove from heat and let cool down.
- Once the strudel is finished baking let it cool down.
- Drizzle with pumpkin ale syrup (generously) upon serving. The phyllo will absorb the syrup and the strudel will become moist and even sweeter. Consider adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.