Low Fat Vegan Apple Strawberry Giant Strudel Pie in Phyllo Pastry

by on April 1, 2012


Low Fat Vegan Chef's Apple Strawberry Strudel Low Fat Vegan Apple Strawberry Strudel In Phyllo Pastry

Now, before you start drooling all over the keyboard on my delicious (lower fat vegan) Apple Strawberry Giant Strudel Pie recipe, I want to make a quick reminder that my new recipe ebook Comfort Soups To Keep You Warm is now available for sale. I am so happy with the response I’ve recieved on this book so far. People are in love with the delicious and filling soup recipes and blown away by my 40+ pages on tips and tricks on exactly how I cook, what you need and how anyone can make soup and even create their own recipes with anything they have in the fridge! It also contains 30 oil free soup recipes and even some additional bonus recipes you won’t want to miss out on. I know you’re family is going to love these soups recipes so much, they won’t even notice they are healthy or vegan!

Ok, I have a very special recipe for you today… This would be GREAT for a special vegan Easter or holiday dessert.

It was my friend’s birthday a while back and he wanted me to make something yummy for dessert that had apples and cinnamon in it. I started thinking, how could I possibly make an apple pie low fat, but that tastes good? Pie crusts have lots of fat in them from margarine or shortening and raw pie crusts are really fatty from using nuts, so neither were a good solution.

I started thinking of apple crumble, but then you still need margarine to make the crumble crispy and delicious too. (Oil free oat crumble turns out like little muffin bits and rises because of the lack of oil, I’ve already tried it.) So I thought, hey I bet a few layers of phyllo (film or fillo) pastry would do the trick and make the apple strudel delicious without being too heavy. I was inspired by Susan’s recipe for Apple cranberry strudel pie.

But most people’s recipes want you to layer on the margarine or butter in between the phyllo and add lots of nuts.

Well PFFFT to them! Because you don’t even have to do that. The trick to getting a crispy phyllo pastry, is well, just baking it and let is crisp up in the heat. It doesn’t even need oil or butter to get crispy and flaky. I’ll show you how!

Low Fat Vegan Chef's Apple Strawberry Strudel Low Fat Apple Strawberry Strudel Pie

So the key to working with phyllo pastry is to make sure ALL of your fillings and baking dish are ready to go. Phyllo dries out very very quickly and you have to work fast or it can tear and fall apart. I had some phyllo in the freezer that I bought months ago (as I had no idea what I would use it for and it became a little warped and ugly). Make sure you let the phyllo rest for a bit and come up to room temperature if you defrost it overnight in the fridge because it is inflexible when it’s so cold. Even though I ripped some of it… I managed to make it work anyway, even though I had never used phyllo before. See? Just fake it til you make it and you can make this apple strawberry strudel too… Even if you rip the phyllo and make a big mess, as long as you get some layers of phyllo sheets in there it will still taste good.

As always I wanted to pack in some more fruit into it, so I decided to use 2 different kinds of apples and some strawberries as they looked pretty fresh at the store. Who doesn’t love fresh summer strawberries? Anyone? I didn’t think so… I also think this would work well if you had frozen cherries, or really sweet peaches, or pears. I’m going to try an apple-pear combo next.

Although I made a bottom crust and a top for this, I decided that the crust (bottom layers) aren’t necessary to make this strudel tasty. They don’t really crisp up and they all stay flat anyway, and the most important part of the strudel is really the top crust. So next time I make it I’m going to skip the bottom crust.

Also the nuts aren’t really that necessary either, the reason we add a little crumbled “something in between” the layers it to keep them separate so hot air can get to them and crisp up the phyllo sheets. You can easily just use rolled oats and skip the nuts to make the recipe even lower in fat.

Low Fat Vegan Chef's Apple Strawberry Strudel

(Low Fat) Vegan Apple Strawberry Strudel In Phyllo Pastry

Serves 8

Ingredients: 

12 (or 6 if you use no bottom crust) 9 x 14″ sheets of phyllo pastry dough (thaw overnight in refrigerator or 5 hours on the counter)
2 tbsp. almonds or other nuts (optional)
2 tbsp. rolled oats (the big flat type oats)
4 medium apples, peeled, cored, and diced (I used Granny Smith and Golden Delicious)
1/2 cup turbinado sugar (raw cane sugar) or other coarse sugar (not white sugar or powdered sugar)
2 teaspoons  all purpose white flour, unbleached or cornstarch
2 teaspoons maple syrup, honey, agave or brown rice syrup (any liquid sweetener)
1 tbsp. ceylon cinnamon (my favourite available here) or 1/2 tbsp reg. cassia cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 cups diced strawberries
2-3 second spray of canola oil or non-stick spray

Cinnamon-Sugar Topping:
1/4 teaspoon ceylon cinnamon
2 teaspoons regular sugar/white sugar

Directions:

Step #1. Preheat oven to 350 F /177 C. Use a rectangular (not square) baking dish and spritz the bottom with non stick spray (only if making a bottom crust, if not omit). Get the box of phyllo out of the fridge and let it warm up before using so it’s more flexible. Don’t take it out of the plastic package until you are ready to use it.

Step #2: Use a food processor or Vitamix to process the nuts and rolled oats until they are coarsely ground. (You can also just use rolled oats and skip the nuts if desired.)

Step #3: In a large sized bowl, toss the apples, turbinado (raw) sugar, flour, liquid sweetener, ceylon cinnamon, nutmeg and strawberries together gently. In a separate small bowl, mix the ceylon cinnamon and sugar together for the cinnamon-sugar topping.

*If you don’t want a bottom crust, you can skip this next part and go to Step #6.

Step #4: Get out a large piece of parchment paper and unroll the phyllo pastry over it (have a damp towel ready to cover the rest) and take out two sheets at a time and place them into the bottom of the baking dish. (Cover the remaining pieces with the damp towel to prevent them from drying out and cracking.) The sheets will probably be too big for your dish, but you can try and lean them on the side like I did. Also you can use scissors and trim any large ends that stick out.

Step #5: Sprinkle a tablespoon of the nut/oats (or just oats) over the phyllo pastry, layer another two sheets, sprinkle 1 tbsp again, and layer another 2 sheets. You will have 6 sheets total for the bottom of your pastry, in 3 layers.

Low Fat Vegan Chef's Apple Strawberry Strudel As you can see my dish is a little small for the size of the pastry sheets. Feel free to trim.

Step #6: Pour in the apple strawberry mixture on top of the 6th sheet (if using a bottom crust). If you’re not using a bottom crust, just pour the apples and strawberries into the bottom of the baking dish.

Step #7: Cover the apple strawberry mixture with 2 more sheets of phyllo and push the edges down a little. If they are too giant, you can trim them. If the edges of the layers are all crammed together in a bunch at the top they won’t cook and will be like raw dough. So use your judgement, you want some tucked in, but not too much. Sprinkle another tablespoon of the nut/oats mixture and cover with another 2 sheets of phyllo. Repeat and cover with another 2 layers, another sprinkle of nuts/oats mixture, and another 2 sheets of phyllo.

Step #8: Spray just the top layer of phyllo with a 2 second spray of canola oil or non stick spray and with a sharp knife, cut the strudel into 8 pieces. (This is so it doesn’t shred when it’s cooked. It’s better to cut it beforehand.)

Step #9: Sprinkle it with the cinnamon-sugar topping. Ooh doesn’t that look pretty!

Step #10: Bake for 45-50 minutes until the apples are tender. You can test them with a fork after 45 minutes in the middle.

Low Fat Vegan Chef's Apple Strawberry Strudel

Step #11: Allow the strudel to cool a bit before serving (20-30 minutes). Serve warm.

Low Fat Vegan Chef's Apple Strawberry Strudel

Additional Tips:

Use whatever rectangular baking dish you have to make this strudel pie. Mine is like an oval casserole dish, and it worked ok. I could have used a larger dish because the phyllo sheets are a pretty big. I will trim a little of the excess overhang next time. If you use a large lasagna like pan (9″ x 13″), you should be fine and not have so much extra phyllo on the edges.

*To reheat the apple strawberry strudel you have to do it in an oven. You cannot microwave it or the crust will get all soggy and not be flakey anymore.

 Variations:

Use whatever other fruit you like if you don’t want to use strawberries. It’s nice to have two flavours. You could also use some stewed rhubarb. My Nana used to make Apple Rhubarb pie and I loved this combination.

I also made this recipe with apples and Bosc pears. It was quite delicious too!

To Make Traditional Individual Apple Strawberry Strudels

You can also make little strudels with this recipe instead of a giant strudel-like pie.

If you want to make individual strudels, take 3-4 sheet of phyllo pastry per strudel.  Place a large piece of parchment paper (larger than the phyllo) underneath it and fill the bottom side of the phyllo (the long side of the rectangle), but leave a 2″ gap on all sides and then roll the strudel up and away from you until it’s like a burrito. Tuck the short ends of the phyllo under the roll. Spritz with a little cooking spray and top with cinnamon-sugar. Pierce the strudel every 2″ to vent along the top and cover loosely in tinfoil. Bake at 375 F/ 190 C in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes. Take off the foil and bake for another 15 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and let cool before slicing and serve warm.

Low Fat Vegan Chef's Apple Strawberry Strudel

The top crust of the Apple Strawberry Strudel Pie is really pretty.  You can barely see the bottom crust, but it is there. It’s pretty flat and soggy so this is why I don’t think it’s essential to be delicious.

Low Fat Vegan Chef's Apple Strawberry Strudel

Side view of the apple strawberry strudel. Is your mouth watering yet? Hee hee.

What do you think of my Low Fat Apple Strawberry Strudel Pie recipe?

Also what do you think of the new printer function of the site? Pretty cool huh!

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 A K March 8, 2017 at 6:39 AM

I made the individual strudels with the only modification of leaving out the nuts and toasting the oatmeal without grinding them. The strudels worked out perfectly. Your cooking times were exact. We ate half with a scoop of ice-cream and froze the other half. The combination of strawberry and apple was quite delicious. I took out the frozen ones this week and reheated them covered loosely with aluminum foil. Served with creme anglaise and toasted chopped almonds. The second time around turned out even flakier. Definitely a keeper! Will try next time maybe with pear and blueberry combo.

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2 Ghislaine December 18, 2012 at 2:38 PM

I worked with the phyllo for the first time yesterday, making this apple- strawberry strudel. It’s so good, I have to tell you !! I’ll make it again….
… All the recipies I tried suggested by you merit many stars !!
Merry Christmas and all the best for 2013 !!

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3 Maggie November 29, 2012 at 4:18 PM

I made this for Thanksgiving and it was delicious. Followed the directions when working with the phyhllo and didn’t have any problems. I made in the morning and we had a very late dinner – so while we were eating I put it in the oven for 15 minutes on 325 and crisped back up and those that tried it loved it.
Thanks for a vegan apple pie recipe.
Next I’m going to try it as a strudel.

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4 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica November 29, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Oh I’m so glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

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5 Maggie November 20, 2012 at 9:59 AM

Do you think you could make this a day ahead of time. I’d like to make it for Thanksgiving but make in Wednesday and just warm it up on Thursday when time to serve it.

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6 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica November 20, 2012 at 10:16 AM

You can, you’ll just need to heat it long enough that the phyllo pieces crisp up. And try to strain the filling before putting it in to remove any excess juices so it’s not too watery by the next day.

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7 Cory July 31, 2012 at 10:24 AM

How would you recommend storing this? Is it good warmed up the next day? I want to make this the night before for a party but wasn’t sure how it’d be. I’m not used to working with phyllo 🙂

Can’t wait to try it! Thanks!

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8 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica July 31, 2012 at 11:43 PM

Hi Cory

So Filo is something that can only be reheated in the oven so it crisps up again. If you make it in advance and bake it, and store it in the fridge you will have to reheat it in the oven or else it will be all wilted and wet instead of crispy.

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9 The Fillo Factory April 12, 2012 at 7:57 AM

Hi Veronica,

We stumbled upon your page via Twitter and must say that your Vegan Apple Strawberry Strudel in Phyllo looks absolutely delicious! Great low-fat alternative and beautiful step-by-step photos.

We’d be glad to RT this link on Twitter and also share it on our Facebook page soon (http://facebook.com/fillofactory). All of our fillo doughs (white, whole wheat, spelt) are indeed vegan, so many fans will appreciate your vegan recipe. Thanks for sharing! Keep up the great work here on your blog.

Best wishes,
Sara
The Fillo Factory

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10 Tamee April 3, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Do you know the Fat, Carbohydrate, fiber and protein amounts for a serving?

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11 Em April 2, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Btw, forgot to mention that I bought your Comforts Soups ebook! Well actually, I got my friend to buy it through his computer (how I have to do all my internet purchases) – am waiting for him to load it up onto a USB so I can see it on my poor gammy computer…

Anyway, I’m really excited about it – can’t wait to attempt one of those delicious-looking/sounding recipes and surprise my friend with it – it will definitely be one of the thick, bean soups as I know he’s partial to beans. If that works well, I’ll branch out and try something else 😉

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12 Em April 2, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Just scrolled back up to check the printer function – that’s great! Will make it just that bit easier/simpler.

Wow, those pictures are sooo delicious!:) And I love the fact that your strudels have so much fruit. I’m going to try the apple and pear combo you suggest – especially as we’ve really left strawberry season behind here but are experiencing some delicious pears as we head into autumn…

Being a phyllo novice, I really like the sound of the individual ones you mention. I think there’s less chance of it all going awry – at least for me 🙂 – so that’s what I’ll attempt first…

Great tips and extra info, as always, V! Love it 🙂

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13 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica April 2, 2012 at 2:34 PM

I am a phyllo novice too. My problem was that I used phyllo that had been abused in the freezer and it tore a bit when I was using it to make my first strudel pie. The second time I made it (last night with pears) it was perfect, and easy. The trick is to let it warm up to room temperature as it tears when it’s cold or dry.

Either way is easy, I wanted to let people know how to make it both ways. 🙂

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14 Em April 2, 2012 at 2:37 PM

‘phyllo that had been abused in the freezer’ LOL – the mind boggles!:)

Will endeavour to not use stiff (abused or otherwise) phyllo – thanks!

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15 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica April 2, 2012 at 3:08 PM

6 months of abuse. Being crammed slammed and twisted into fitting around everything else in the freezer. Yes it was angry and fell apart when i tried to make the pie cold. But i just put it into layers anyway and it still looked pretty!

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