DIY Cherry Toaster Strudel
Toaster strudel brings back all sorts of childhood memories for us. Memories of pulling one out of the freezer, popping it in the toaster oven, drizzling the icing into hearts, stars, and silly faces — and then eating it on our walk to the bus stop.
Turns out, toaster strudel is even more comforting when it’s homemade! Here, we use our signature pie crust recipe, and then simmer cherries, lemon, and sugar for the filling. The bite is flaky and buttery, sticky and jammy, sweet-tart and scrumptious. We could eat homemade toaster strudel again and again … and again.
Luckily, it’s an easy recipe, so we can eat them on repeat. A couple tips from the test kitchen: If your pie dough gets too warm to work with, pop it in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes to firm things up. Also, be sure to cook the cherry filling all the way to 220º, and then let it cool completely. That way, it’ll thicken up and won’t leak out of the sides of the pastry.
The finishing touch is, of course, a drizzle of creamy icing. This one hardens nicely, so you can store the baked cherry toaster strudels at room temp. Also an option: put some in the freezer, and then bake a couple first thing in the morning for a piping-hot breakfast on the go — for the kiddos and the kids at heart.
One more tip for the road: feel free to swap in your favorite fruit for the filling — raspberries, strawberries, you name it!
Yield: 8 pastries
DIY Cherry Toaster Strudel
For the dough:
To make the dough: Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine.
Add the butter and pulse until the butter and flour resemble a coarse meal. Continue to pulse while drizzling in the water until the dough comes together and begins to form a ball.
Wrap the dough loosely with plastic wrap, roll it into a ½”-thick disc, seal tightly, and refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or preferably overnight.
To make the cherry filling: Combine the cherries and lemon juice in a food processor and purée until smooth. Strain the juice into a medium saucepan, pressing the pulp through, and discard the skin.
Stir in the sugar and a pinch of salt. Fit the saucepan with a candy thermometer. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the jam reads 220º, 15 to 18 minutes. Immediately transfer the jam to a heat-proof bowl and let cool to room temperature. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use, up to 1 week.
To roll out the dough: Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Unwrap the dough and roll it out to ⅛”-inch thick. Using a chef’s knife or bench knife, cut the dough into 16 3 ½ x 5” rectangles.
Transfer the cut pastry dough to a parchment paper-lined sheet pan, placing more parchment between layers as needed. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the freezer until ready to use.
To assemble the toaster strudels: In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and 2 tsp water. Remove half of the cut pastry dough from the freezer, and brush the edges of the dough with egg wash.
Transfer the cherry jam to a piping bag and cut a ¼” opening at the tip. Pipe the filling onto the egg-washed dough: Hold the piping bag perpendicular to the dough and pipe a rectangle ½” in from the edges of the pastry. Fill the rectangle in with cherry jam.
Remove the remaining dough from the freezer and dock it with a dough docker or fork.
Carefully place 1 piece of the docked dough over 1 filled piece and press the edges together to seal tightly. Repeat with the remaining dough. Freeze the pastries until firm, 30 minutes or up to 1 month if covered.
When ready to make the pastries, preheat the oven to 350º. Brush the tops of the pastries with egg wash.
Bake on a parchment-lined sheet pan for 22 to 25 minutes, rotating halfway through, until golden brown. Let cool for 15 minutes, or until firm.
To make the icing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, salt, and powdered sugar. Drizzle over the toaster strudels and serve warm. Enjoy!