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PEAR AND GINGER STRUDEL

50g butter
1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 Tbsp sugar
4 pears
2 - 3 Tbsp chopped crystallized ginger

50g butter
3/4 cups ground almonds
1 tsp ground ginger
8 sheets filo pastry
2 Tbsp sliced almonds

Prepare the filling first. Melt first measure of butter. Add
lemon rind and juice, almonds, ginger and sugar. Peel and finely
slice pears. Add to butter mixture and stir gently so that the
pear pieces are coated with mixture. Set aside. Melt the second
measure of butter. Combine ground almonds and ginger.

Remove filo pastry from packet. Place on a flat surface and cover
with plastic wrap so the pastry doesn't dry out. Line a baking
tray with baking paper. Take the first sheet of filo and place it
on the tray. Brush pastry with melted butter and sprinkle with
some ground almond mixture. Lay another sheet of pastry on top of
the first, brush with butter and sprinkle with ground almond mixture.
Continue using all the pastry sheets and all the ground almond
mixture. On the last sheet of pastry brush butter around edge of
pastry in a 4cm-wide strip. Position prepared pastry on baking
tray so that you have one of the shorter borders near you. Place
the pear filling on the pastry keeping the mixture 4cm from the
sides. Cover about two-thirds of pastry with pear filling. Fold
over the pastry at the end near you; then turn in the sides. Roll
the strudel away from you, enclosing the filling. Try and end with
the of the pastry underneath. (Do not roll too tightly as the
strudel may burst while cooking.)

Brush with a little more melted butter. Sprinkle the top with
sliced almonds and brush with butter again. Bake at 180 C for 30
- 35 minutes or until golden brown. If pastry starts to dry out
during cooking, brush once more with butter. Allow to cool 10
minutes on the baking tray before sliding onto a serving plate.
Serve hot or cold, dusted with icing sugar and whipped cream.

Notes: Use a serrated knife to slice the strudel with a gentle saw
movement to avoid crumbling the cooked pastry. Assembling the
strudel on the baking tray saves moving the strudel from the bench
to the baking tray which can be difficult. Filo pastry will keep
for weeks in the refrigerator. Make sure the plastic bag that it
is in is well sealed.)

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