- 2 pound(s) (5 to 6 medium) Bartlett or Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 pound(s) (5 to 6 medium) Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup(s) dried cranberries or raisins
- 3/4 cup(s) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup(s) (1 stick) margarine or butter
- 1/4 cup(s) plain dried bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup(s) walnuts
- 1/4 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon(s) ground nutmeg
- 8 sheets (17'- by 12-inch) frozen (thawed) phyllo
- 1 cup(s) heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoon(s) pear-flavored brandy, such as Piore Williams (optional)
- 1 tablespoon(s) confectioners' sugar, plus additional for dusting
- Mint leaves and fresh cranberries for garnish
- In 12-inch skillet, cook pears, apples, cranberries, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and 2 tablespoons butter, uncovered, over medium-high heat 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium; continue cooking 8 to 10 minutes longer or until all liquid evaporates and fruit is tender, stirring frequently. Transfer mixture to medium bowl; cover and refrigerate 1 hour or up to 3 days before assembling strudel.
- In food processor with knife blade attached, pulse bread crumbs, walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar until nuts are finely ground. (Nut mixture can be stored at room temperature in self-sealing plastic bag up to 1 week before using.)
- Assemble strudel, up to 6 hours before baking: In 1-quart saucepan, melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter. Cut two 24-inch-long sheets waxed paper; overlap 2 long sides by about 2 inches. Place 1 sheet phyllo in center of waxed paper; brush with some melted butter, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons nut mixture. Working quickly, continue layering phyllo with butter and nut mixture. (You should have about 1 tablespoon butter left.)
- Starting along 1 long side of phyllo, spoon cooled fruit filling to about 3/4 inch from edges to cover about one-third of phyllo rectangle. From fruit filling side, using waxed paper to help lift dough, roll phyllo jelly-roll fashion.
- Place roll, seam side down, diagonally on large cookie sheet. Brush with remaining butter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake strudel 35 to 40 minutes (45 to 50 minutes if strudel is cold) or until phyllo is golden. Cool on cookie sheet on wire rack about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare whipped cream: In medium bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat cream until soft peaks form. Add brandy, if using, and 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar, and beat just until stiff peaks form.
- Transfer warm strudel to platter; dust with confectioners' sugar. Garnish with mint leaves and cranberries. Cut strudel crosswise into slices. Serve with whipped cream. Absolutely awesome recipe. You will be so popular at your house, you may receive a gold medal for best baker.