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Cream Strudel

750 calories per each of 6 servings

ingredients

serves 6-8
250 g (9 oz) plain flour
pinch of salt
1 egg
2 teaspoons oil
few drops of wine vinegar
5 - 6 tablespoons water

for the filling:

4 day-old bread rolls
250 ml (8 fl oz) cold milk
100 g (4 oz) butter
200 g (7 oz) sugar
grated rind of 1 lemon
3 eggs
150 ml (1/4 pint) single cream
75 g (3 oz) raisins

for baking:

50 g (2 oz) butter, melted
150 ml (1/4 pint) milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 vanilla pod

method

1. Work the flour with the salt, egg, 1 teaspoon of the oil, the vinegar and water to make a firm, glossy dough. Brush with the remaining oil, place the dough under a warm bowl and leave it for 30 minutes.

2. Dice the rolls and soak them in the milk. Cream the butter with half the sugar and the lemon rind until fluffy. Separate the eggs.

3. Gradually beat the yolks into the butter mixture. Squeeze excess moisture from the bread, strain through a fine wire sieve and beat into the butter mixture with the cream.

4. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, sprinkling in the remaining sugar as you whisk.

5. Dust a large tea-towel with flour and roll out the pastry on it to a large 70 x 80-cm/28 x 32-in rectangle. Stretch the pastry until paper thin and leave to rest on the tea-towel. Cut off the thick edges and use to repair any tears.

6. Fold the egg whites into the filling and then spread the mixture evenly over the pastry to within 5 - 7 cm (2 - 3 in) of the edge. Wash the raisins in hot water, drain and sprinkle them over the filling. Roll the strudel up lengthways.

7. Grease a roasting tin or cast-iron casserole with melted butter. Arrange the strudel in the tin and sprinkle with the butter. Bake in a moderately hot oven (200°C, 400°F, gas 6) for 1 hour.

8 .Sweeten the milk with the sugar and bring to the boil with the slit vanilla pod. As soon as the strudel begins to brown, pour some of the milk over the strudel.

9. Just before the end of the cooking time, pour the remaining milk over the strudel. Serve hot.

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