- Yield: 1 strudel, about 35 inches long, or 12 servings
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (141 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
- 1 stick (113 g) unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup (100 g) sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- ½ cup (85 g) candied ginger, chopped
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 pounds (905 g) firm pears, cored and sliced ¼ inch thick
- ¼ cup (21 g) crushed ginger cookie crumbs
- Crème fraiche, for serving (optional)
How to Make It
Make the Strudel Dough
- Combine the flour, melted butter, and ⅓ cup (79 ml) warm water in a medium bowl. Mix with your hands until a sticky ball of dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it until a smooth and soft ball of dough forms, about 2 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic and let it rest at room temperature for 2 hours. Stretch and Prepare the Dough
- Butter a 13 x 18-inch rimmed baking sheet and set aside.
- Lay a clean bedsheet or extra-large kitchen towel over a table. Lightly dust the cloth with flour and place the ball of dough in the center. Dust the top of the dough with flour and use a rolling pin to roll it out into a large circle, about 12 inches in diameter. The dough will be very soft after resting, so be gentle with it.
- To use two people to stretch the dough, stand opposite your partner on different sides of the table and work together to expand the circle of dough from the center outward. Begin by each flouring your hands. Place your hands, palms facing down, underneath the circle of dough. Each of you carefully drag your hands toward your body. The dough will begin to stretch when you do this.
- Continue stretching the dough, always starting from the center and pulling outward, slowly extending the dough to the four corners of your work surface. Reflour your hands as necessary. Work carefully but swiftly, as the dough can start to dry and then tear. Pay special attention to the edges of the dough as you start to get a larger sheet forming; the edges will be thicker, but they can be teased with your knuckles to stretch a little bit thinner.
- If you rip the dough, stretch the edge of the rip over the tear and press with your fingertips to seal up the dough again.
- You want to stretch the dough into a 20 x 40-inch rectangle as thin as parchment. Assemble the Strudel
- Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. When the dough is stretched, brush the entire surface with ¼ cup melted butter immediately. Use a paring knife to trim ¼ inch off the edges. This will get rid of any dough that might bake chewy once it’s been rolled up inside the strudel.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the sugar, chopped ginger, cinnamon, and salt.
- Combine the pears and the sugar mixture. Scatter the cookie crumbs lengthwise on half the surface of the dough. Starting 5 inches in from the edge of a long side of the dough, arrange the pears in a long pile spanning the length of the dough, leaving about 3 inches of dough at each end. Lift the 5 inches of edge along the long side of the dough and drape it over the filling. It may need to be gently stretched to cover the pears.
- Lift the cloth on the long side and pull it up to nudge the dough to roll over, then gather the cloth and pull it toward you. Repeat. When you have a log, close off each end of the log by gathering the excess dough at the ends and twisting them like the ends of a candy wrapper. Trim off the fringe of the twist.
- Transfer the log to the prepared baking sheet and curve it into a horseshoe shape. Brush the strudel with the remaining melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the strudel is deep golden brown. Remove the strudel from the oven and cool it for about 15 minutes on a wire rack. Serve warm with a dollop of crème fraiche, if desired. Strudel is best eaten the same day, while it’s still crispy and warm.