Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Fresh Fruit Strudel (with vegan alternative)

Fresh Fruit Strudel

One of my fondest memories growing up was going to Hans and Harry's Bakery and picking up a fresh fruit strudel. The ride home was sheer torture because as soon as we got into the car, the sweet aroma of buttery pastry would swirl around me and make my mouth water. It took every bit of restraint for me not to open the box and pluck a strawberry right off. If you've ever tasted their fruit strudel, you know exactly how I feel (if you haven't, I strongly recommend that you do). Admit it, you've thought about taking a strawberry (or two) before making it home.

Fresh Fruit Strudel

Years later, I was lucky enough to work there and learn how to make these delicious strudels. No, I'm not going to divulge their recipe (are you kidding me?), but I will offer up my homemade version. It's almost as good as the original and the best part is you can customize it to your heart's desire. You can even munch on a few strawberries and no one will ever know. It's okay. I won't tell.

Fruit Strudel

Fresh Fruit Strudel
Allergy note: contains wheat and dairy

puff pastry:
1 package of frozen puff pastry dough
turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw) or light brown sugar

cream filling:
4 Tbsp. water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin (1/4 ounce or 7.2 grams)
2 cups whipping cream, cold
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

vegan filling:
14 oz. can of coconut milk 
1/2 cup rice milk
5 oz. box Jello instant vanilla pudding mix

fruit toppings:*
kiwi fruit

seedless raspberry jam
powdered sugar

*Fresh fruits that are in season work best, but if they're not available or limited, you can use canned or frozen fruits instead. I used canned peaches and frozen blueberries myself :-)
If you're going to use frozen blueberries, put them on the fruit strudel while they're still frozen - they'll be too messy to handle if you let them thaw first. Don't worry, they'll be at room temperature by they time you're ready to serve it.

To prepare the pastry:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Let the puff pastry thaw at room temperature (about 40 minutes). Brush a little bit of water along each side of the puff pastry and fold about 1/2 inch inward. Press and seal the edges. Brush on top of the edges with a little water and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Dock with a fork and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let it cool completely before assembling the fruit strudel.

To make the cream:
In a small bowl, sprinkle the unflavored gelatin over the water. Let the gelatin bloom for a few minutes (it will absorb some water and swell up a bit). Add 1/4 cup of the whipping cream and microwave for a minute or until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Set aside.
Whip the cream cheese then add the whipping cream, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Whip to soft peak stage. Add gelatin mixture and vanilla. Continue to whip to stiff peaks.

To make the vegan filling:
Using an electric mixer, beat together coconut milk, rice milk and Jello instant vanilla pudding mix until thicken. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.

To assemble the fruit strudel:
Spread some seedless raspberry jam on the bottom of the puff pastry. Spread a layer of cream filling and top with fruits. Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving.

NOTE: Instead of powdered sugar, you can brush a nice shiny glaze on the fruit strudel. Just mix together some apricot jam or preserves with a tiny bit of water. Heat in the microwave for a minute or so until melted. Let it cool then use a pastry brush to lightly glaze the strudel.


Rachelle S said...

This looks so pretty and delicious! Reminds me of the Galette I made recently. :)

Elyse said...

Fresh fruit strudel sounds so delicious! It brings back wonderful memories for me, too! How delicious. Can't wait to try out your recipe.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to try this!

Maggie Mae said...

OMGoodness you totally read my mind. HMMM how long does it take to make and bake? I have a Easter Family gathering this coming weekend & I hope to make it. It looks way better than- I'm not gonna say. I love it!

The Food Librarian said...

So pretty! This looks perfect!

jef said...

Gasp! Frozen puff pastry? What would Chef Yves say?! :)

Art of Dessert said...

I'm such a rebel, aren't I? LOL

Juliana said...

OMG, such a nice looking dessert...as a matter of fact I have a puff pastry in my freezer...

sweet delight said...

I love Hans and Harry Fruit Strudel! I'm sure your recipe is just as yummy!

Sandy said...

Rianne, just wanted to let you know there's a little something for you on my blog at http://stampnstuff.blogspot.com/2009/04/lemonade-stand-award.html

Sophie said...

This is really pretty. The filling sounds so yummy--I never would've thought that it contains gelatin!

Trina said...

You're heaven sent! I have been searching for this recipe for a looooonng time. I lived in California for 2 years and relatives from Chula Vista would always bring Hans and Harry Fresh Fruit Strudel during our gatherings. I just love it! I'm back here in the Philippines and I still haven't seen any strudel being sold in bakeshops/bakeries here. Can't wait to try this. I'm so excited! Maraming salamat for sharing this recipe. :)

marieen said...

wow...ur pics are out of the world ...u are a true artist!

Sarah R said...

Lucky boy!! Happy birthday!

ann low said...

Just stumbled into your blog today. I would say...WOW what a pretty cake!

Anonymous said...

We too loved the Strudel from Hans and Harry's. I say loved because we moved out of state, from San Diego 2 years ago. :-( But here's the thing...every so often I would surprise my boys with chocolate truffles. That was their favorite. Trouble is, I have no hope of finding any out here that rival Hans & Harry's. Theirs were more "cake-like," than creamy. Wondering if I need to use sponge cake? Any suggestions on making a chocolate truffle to rival our old favorites? I really want to surprise them over the holidays.

Art of Dessert said...

In pastry school, they were called rum balls, but they're more commonly called cake truffles. You basically mix together cake scraps with nuts, rum and melted chocolate to form truffles. Most bakeries do this in order to make use of all the scraps from trimming cakes. Here's an easy to follow recipe from the Food Network just to give you a guideline but you can customize it to your taste:

Liz said...


I randomly stumbled upon your site after trying to search for a recipe that resembled Hanz & Harry's fruit strudel and yours look amazing! However, I just watned to clarify when making this you a said to use a package of puff pastry and by that, do you mean one package as in using both sheets? Thank you much!

Art of Dessert said...

Hi Liz! Yes, You can use both sheets for this recipe :-)

Unknown said...

Looks like heaven to me.

Unknown said...


I just stumbled upon your blog.I'd like to make this fruit strudel for a friend's party....only, I can't use the gelatin because we're vegetarians.Can you suggest an alternative? Will agar-agar work? Please let me know as soon as you can.

Art of Dessert said...

Hi Anjana! You can try agar-agar or you can use less whipping cream; 1 cup or 1 1/2 cups. The gelatin just helps the cream filling set faster in the fridge but it will still set up just fine without it :-)

Anonymous said...

I baked my puff pastry and the center always puffs up even after I docked it. What else should i try?

Art of Dessert said...

Hi! You might need to dock the puff pastry a more (very little space between the docking) to allow more steam to come out while baking. Or you can push down the center to release the steam if it starts to puff up in the middle of baking.

Franz said...

wanna taste it now! haha!

Anonymous said...

thank you for posting this...sharing your recipe. I've learned to make the strudel from a class, but this is great. Hans and Harry's a favorite too:-)

Anonymous said...

I was looking for something lighter for Easter dessert and decided to try the non-vegan version. A huge hit! Thank you for another fabulous egg-free dessert option. Going to make it again soon!



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