Cherry Strudel

Cherry Strudel

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 680g jar pitted cherries
  • 250g cream cheese
  • ¼ cup caster sugar
  • 1 Tbs Marsala wine or sherry
  • 10 sheets filo pastry
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tbs caster sugar, extra
  • 80g butter, melted
  1.  Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Drain the cherries and pat dry.
  2. Mash together the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, and Marsala wine and then beat until smooth. Combine the cinnamon and extra sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Place filo pastry on a clean bench, and cover with a slightly damp tea towel. Using another clean space of bench-top, lay one sheet of filo pastry on the bench. Brush will a light coat of melted butter, and sprinkle with a little of the cinnamon sugar. Repeat with all ten filo pastry sheets, layering one on top of the other.
  4. When complete, spread the cream cheese mixture along the length of one side of the pastry, stopping 5cm before each end. Top with cherries, fold in the ends of the pastry and roll to make a log, completely enclosing the filling. Place on the baking tray with the pastry join facing down. Brush the top with melted butter and dust with remaining cinnamon sugar.
  5. Bake for 30 – 35 mins or until the pastry is crisp and golden. Allow it to cool slightly before cutting into slices. Serve warm with cream or custard.

Note: If you use frozen filo pastry, allow it to defrost in the box before you begin using it. While still frozen, the pastry is very brittle and will break apart.

Shortcrust Pastry (Savoury) – Beef and Vegetable Parcels

Makes 6


  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 ¾ cups plain flour
  • 125g butter straight from the fridge
  • 2 tsp cold water


  • 200g beef mince
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium potato
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 celery stick
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • A dash of Garam Masala
  • A little milk
  1. Pastry: Chop butter into squares and place in a food processor with flour. Process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add egg yolk and water and continue processing until mixture comes together. Knead for a short time until dough is cohesive and smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  2. Filling: heat olive oil, beef mince and onion in a fry pan on high; continue until beef is cooked though. Mix through remaining ingredients. Cover and continue cooking on low heat for ten minutes.
  3. Assembly: Preheat oven to 200 degrees C and line a biscuit tray with greaseproof paper. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface. Use a plate or bowl to cut out circles approximately 15cm in diameter. Place a small mound of filling down the centre of the circle. Fold sides of circle up to meet each other and press together. Brush top with a little milk. Place on biscuit tray and bake for 30 mins.
  4. Note: Although you will need to collect the remnants of dough and roll out again, aim to do so as few times as possible, as overworking the dough makes it difficult to work with.

Savoury Muffins

A delicious lunch box treat or perfect for a picnic … as well as something to use up the left-over ham after Christmas.

  • 1 egg
  • 80g butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 100g feta cheese
  • 100g diced ham
  • 1/3 cup semi-dried tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease a 12-hole muffin tray.
  2. Melt butter in a pyrex jug. Add milk and egg and whisk to combine.
  3. Sift flour into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour the butter, milk and egg mixture into the well and stir until almost combined.
  4. Finely chop the semi-dried tomatoes and crumble the fetta cheese. Add the semi-dried tomatoes, fetta, ham and rosemary leaves to the dough, folding through until the mixture just comes together.
  5. Distribute the mixture evenly among the holes in the muffin tray and top with a little shredded cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the muffins spring back when lightly pressed. Cool on a wire rack. Most delicious served warm with butter.