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1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1/4 cup ground almonds

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1-1/4 pounds firm, tart apple: Granny Smith or Mutsu

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves and cardamom

1/3 cup raisins, plumped in hot water and drained

1/4 cup toasted almond slices

Grated zest of 1/2 lemon

2 ounces shaved imported pecorino Romano

4 sheets phyllo dough





Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a skillet, stir in the breadcrumbs and almonds, and cook until toasted light browned.  Scrape into a bowl and reserve.


Peel, core and thickly slice the apples.  Toss them in a bowl with the sugar, seasonings, raisins, almonds and lemon zest.  Fold in the cheese slices gently.


Melt the remaining butter.  Lay out a sheet of phyllo on a kitchen towel.  Brush with butter.  Lay on the remaining 3 sheets, buttering each as it is added.  Sprinkle the toasted crumbs over the top layer.  Spread the apple mixture along one long edge of the dough covering about 30% of the phyllo and leaving the bottom inch free at either end.  Using the towel for support, gently roll the dough over encasing the apples.  Tuck under the ends of phyllo dough.  Lift strudel onto a lightly oiled bake sheet, and brush the top with butter.


Bake for 20 minutes, until crisp and golden brown.

Recipe adapted from A Passion for Cheese by Paul Gaylor.