Pear-Ginger Strudel With Ginger-Custard Sauce
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg
- 3/4 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter - (1/2 stick)
- 1/2 cup diced dried pears - (abt 3 oz)
- 1/4 cup Poire Williams (clear pear brandy) (or regular brandy)
- 6 ripe Bartlett or Anjou pears - (3 3/4 lbs) peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2" cubes
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 16 sheets fresh phyllo pastry or frozen thawed
- 1 cup unsalted butter - (2 sticks) melted
For Sauce: Bring cream, milk, and ginger to simmer in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove pan from heat; steep 15 minutes.
Whisk yolks and sugar in medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in warm cream mixture; return mixture to saucepan. Stir over medium heat until custard thickens and leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, about 8 minutes; do not boil. Strain sauce into medium bowl; mix in vanilla. Cover; chill until cold, at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.
For Filling: Whisk 1 cup sugar, cornstarch, and mace to blend in small bowl. Whisk cookie crumbs and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in another small bowl to blend. Set both mixtures aside.
Melt 1/4 cup butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add dried pears and pear brandy. Cover and simmer until brandy is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Mix in fresh pears and lemon peel. Sauté until pears are just tender, about 10 minutes. Add cornstarch mixture. Bring to boil and cook until filling thickens, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes; cool completely.
Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place 1 phyllo sheet on work surface (keep remaining phyllo covered with damp towel). Brush phyllo with melted butter. Top with second phyllo sheet; brush with butter and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon gingersnap crumb mixture. Repeat with 5 more phyllo sheets, butter and crumb mixture. Top with phyllo (8 sheets total); brush with butter.
Starting 2 inches in from 1 long side and 2 1/2 inches in from 1 short side, spoon half of filling in 3-inch-wide by 12-inch-long log parallel to long side. Fold short sides over ends of filling; butter folded edges. Fold nearest long side of phyllo over filling and roll up strudel, enclosing filling.
Transfer strudel to prepared sheet, seam-side down. Brush with butter. Repeat with remaining ingredients to make second strudel. Place on same sheet, spacing 3 inches from first strudel. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic and refrigerate.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake strudels until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cut each on diagonal into 6 slices and serve warm or at room temperature with cold ginger sauce.
This recipe yields 12 servings.