Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Pumpkin Pecan Butterscotch Strudel

I've been eying pumpkin strudel recipes, both savory and sweet in German cooking magazines for years. It was time to try my own. I was torn over which recipe to create, a savory or sweet one. Sweet won out. Savory will have to wait its turn until later. Sigh. So many pumpkins so little time.

Butterscotch is one of my favorite childhood flavors and I was curious to incorporate it into traditional German strudel. Score!

 As complicated as this recipe looks, the steps are relatively easy. The dough needs an hour rest time in the fridge but I made the day before and the strudel came out fine. 

The most time-consuming part is peeling and cutting the raw pumpkin into chunks. I did that the night before as well. 

Once the chopped pecans have been caramelized and have cooled (another step you can do the day before) you just toss the rest of the filling ingredients together and you're ready to roll out and stuff the strudel.

The glaze is a bit of a cheat. I altered a homemade butterscotch glaze recipe and added butterscotch chips because I wanted a beautiful butterscotchy color. 

Even though this a sweet strudel, the sugar content is relatively low and it sounds scarier sweeter than it tastes which makes it another perfect Thanksgiving dessert

Pumpkin Pecan Butterscotch Strudel
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Bake Time: 40 minutes
Dough Rest Time: 1 hour
Yield: 12 pieces


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus 2 tablespoons divided.
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup ice cold water

  • 3/4 cup  plus 1/3 cup  whole raw pecans 
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar 
  • 1+1/2 cups raw peeled pumpkin pieces
  • 3/4 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup semolina or corn meal
  • 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Butterscotch Glaze:
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butterscotch chips
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Make the dough:
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and 1 teaspoon of the ground cinnamon. Transfer the mixture to a food processor.
  •  Add the cold butter and pulse until the mixture reaches a crumb texture.
  • Add 2 beaten eggs and the ice water. Pulse until the dough forms.
  • Wrap in plastic film and chill in the fridge for one hour.
Make the filling:
  • Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and brown sugar in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the pecan pieces and stir to coat. Continue stirring over the heat until the pecans have caramelized. Remove from heat, set aside and let cool completely.
  • Place the pumpkin pieces, caramelized pecans and butterscotch chips in a bowl. 
  • In a small separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, semolina and remaining tablespoon of ground cinnamon.
  • Add the creme fraiche and the teaspoon of vanilla extract to the bowl with the pumpkin and caramelized pecans and toss to coat evenly. 
  • Sprinkle the dry ingredients mixture over the top and toss again to combine.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle.
  • Spread the filling out on top of the dough, leaving a 1-inch frame on all sides.
  • From the long side, roll the dough into a long loaf and tightly press the ends to seal them.
  • Transfer the strudel on the prepared baking sheet seam side down and place on the middle rack of the oven.
  • Bake for 40 minutes. 
  • Remove from the oven, let cool and transfer to a wire rack. Place the wire rack on top of the baking sheet lined with parchment paper the strudel has been baked on.

Make the Glaze:
  • Place the butter In a saucepan, combine butter, sugar and cream. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat while whisking. 
  • Whisk in the powdered sugar and extract.
  • Add the butterscotch chips and whisk until they are completely melted. 
  • Drizzle over the top of the cooled strudel.
  • Press the whole pecans into the glaze while it is still wet. 
  •  Wait until glaze has hardened completely before slicing and serving.

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