My Grandmother’s Recipes: Part 7, Strudel.

Last Sunday we have started celebrating a series of holidays commonly called The High Holidays. In Yiddish, we simply say Yontoivim – The Holidays,  and everybody understands which holidays are meant. That’s because there are four holidays that follow each other not only on the calendar, but also in meaning and significance. In this chapter, you will see the transition from Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement, to Sukkot and Simhat Torah (click for Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 8).

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Part 7
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19. Michurin I.V. – famous Russian biologist and horticulturist who developed and a grafting technique that produced superior fruit trees. The joke was that he has produced a single strawberry the size of a mountain and fell from the top of it to his death.

On the first of the High HolidaysRosh haShana, and on the second, Yom Kippur we sing a haunting prayer to Our Father, Our King (Avinu Malkeinu):

With this beautiful rendition and the recipe for our traditional Rosh haShana dessert, I am wishing all of you, Beautiful People, a sweet, healthy, happy, and successful year – a Zis Yohr!

shana tova.jpg

The only kind of strudel I’ve seen in the U.S. is the Viennese apple strudel. In fact, when Americans say “strudel,” they mean “apple strudel.” However, the word strudel means whirlpool in German, and describes any rolled flaky pastry with any filling, meet, cheese, fruit, or vegetables. There is actually a sauerkraut strudel! The first one, though, was created in Vienna in 15th century, as the wave of Ottoman Empire conquests brought with it Turkish baklava, among other exotic foods. Crafty Viennese literally twisted the Turkish dessert, filled it with apples, and thus the famous Wiener Apfelstrudel was born.


The one that became a part of our Rosh Hashana celebration is a Plum Prune Strudel,  filled with jam, or prune butter, made of Italian Prune Plums, sometimes also called European plums. In Russia and Ukraine they are known as Hungarian plums, and every summer all of us kids were sent up the trees to pick them for povidlo – the jam. Povidlo would percolate in huge copper pots for several hours, stirred by adults and protected from curious bees by us. Pronounced ready, the thick  dark purple mass was poured into jars, while still hot, and hermetically closed, to preserve for winter. The first jar was always opened to make the first strudel of the year, for Rosh Hashana.

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I do know how to make flaky dough, but ready-made Phyllo dough is one of the shortcuts that make my life easier. The filing consists of prune butter combined with roughly chopped walnuts, raisins, and a splash of lemon juice.

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Once you combine all four filling ingredients, I suggest to taste it. If it’s too sour to your taste, add some honey or sugar.

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Lay out several sheets of flaky dough (6 – 8), overlapping them by 2 -3  inches (5 -8 cm). Mist with oil between layers and on top of the top layer. Spoon the filling in a row, about 2 – 3 inches from you and the same distance from both sides. Cover it with the center flap, then the sides, and roll to the end. You should end up with the seam down.

strdl 4.jpg

Paint it with egg wash and bake for 40 – 45 minutes until golden brown. Let it cool completely before cutting, otherwise you’ll crush it.  “Ot azoy ist der leybn, – muttered my grandmother, cutting the strudel, – sweet is dark, and dark is sweet. Gamzeletoive – and this is good!”


Life is full of hidden messages. What seems sweet to us, might have a darker side, and what appears dark, will turn out sweet. For a year full of sweet surprises, enjoy this scrumptious dessert! Shana Tova u’Metuka! A Zis Yor!

The dissemination of all my holiday recipes to a wider audience has been made possible through a valiant effort of Esme, The Recipe Hunter, of, and her fantastic Recipe Exchange program. Thank you again, dear Esme, for performing this vitally important service for the community.


  • 6 – 8 sheets Phyllo, or any other flaky dough
  • 2 cups Prune Butter or any dark jam, i.e. blueberry, blackberry, etc.
  • 1/2 cup raisins (2 oz)
  • 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Alternatively, 1 tablespoon honey or sugar to taste


  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease baking sheet.
  • Combine all filling ingredients. Mix well. Adjust sweetener to taste.
  • Layer Phyllo dough overlapping sheets by 2 – 3 inches (5 – 8 cm). Spray each layer with oil.
  • Place filling in a row 2 -3 inches from you and from the sides. Cover filling with center flap first, then side flaps. Roll to the end, finish seam down.
  • Paint with egg wash, bake for 25 – 30 minutes.
  • Remove, cool completely before cutting.


35 Comments Add yours

  1. This looks so good! Love the use of plum butter in the strudel. It’s such a tasty jam. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear Ronit. Coming from you, it means a lot to me.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Indeed, i pray you have a sweet year, and that all dark things turn out to be good in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Mimi. And I pray for a sweet year for everybody.


  3. Amazing! I have never heard of a plum prune strudel. A perfect match for a good cup of coffee too. Your music selection is superb! Sending you a dance if hearty hugs!💞💞🌺🍮🍮🎶

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for a lovely comment, darling! 😻

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re fun and cute!🎈💕🎶

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you kindly – cute yourself and fun too! 😻

        Liked by 1 person

  4. 15andmeowing says:

    Looks good. Thank you for the recipe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, darling.


  5. A beautiful recording – and interesting translation and explanation of varieties of strudel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Derrick.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Bernadette.


    1. Thank you so much, dear Pam!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Gail says:

    Looks exotic and buttery. 💜🍃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Gail. And there is no butter in it, just a mist of olive oil between layers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Gail says:

        There’s the secret then. 😜

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yep, that’s it 😻

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reblogging, dear Edward.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. purpleslob says:

    That prayer was gorgeous. And the strudel looks good too. Poor Pani, no garden. And a surprise visit by the second nephew!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, my favorite purple person!
      Our Pani passed away about 15 years ago, at the age of 98, and until her last days had volunteered as a librarian at the Seniors’ Center. Never learned to cook, but loved books.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. purpleslob says:

        Awww, wow!! 98? May her memory be a blessing forever. I love books too! And don’t cook either! We could have had some good conversations!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You sure could have, but in what language, I wonder… She never learned English and volunteered to run a Russian / Ukrainian section of the library.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. purpleslob says:

        In the language of smiles!! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      4. The best language! 😻

        Liked by 1 person

  8. CarolCooks2 says:

    I am so with you on the ready-made phyllo pastry so much easier…Ahhhh strudel is such a joyous thing to eat…x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, darling! Good bye, strudel – it disappeared really fast…

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Nice blog!
    Do visit to my blog and follow it if you like..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, dear Shristy. You are a very talented artist, and I will follow your blog with pleasure.


  10. That looks really lovely, but I think I would give the sauerkraut strudel a miss!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am with you on that, dear Kaiti!

      Liked by 1 person

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