Looking for an alternative to pie for your Thanksgiving dessert table? This pumpkin strudel loaded with pears, cranberries, and pecans is the answer! The strudel consists of puff pastry filled with pumpkin, diced pears, fresh cranberries, and chopped pecans and baked to a perfect golden brown. The recipe comes together in a short amount of time and yields a flaky and cozy treat.
*Luckily, this recipe yields two strudels, so your guest can come back for seconds!
What is Strudel?
A strudel is a type of layered, flaky pastry that is usually filled with a sweet filling, often fruit. Of course, strudel can be savory as well. Strudel is frequently categorized as a German recipe, but it is actually Austrian and also Hungarian. Turkish Baklava laid the foundation for the pastry.
It is important to note that strudel and streusel are not the same thing! I’ve heard so many people use the terms interchangeably. Strudel is the layered pastry and streusel is a crumbly topping.
Tips and Tricks:
Puff Pastry: It is not necessary to make puff pastry from scratch – this isn’t the Great British Baking Show. I used frozen puff pastry sheets. The frozen variety will give you the desired flaky dough and will turn a lovely golden brown thanks to the egg wash.
Assembling the pastry: Make sure you assemble the strudel on parchment paper so that you can easily transfer it onto the baking sheet. Heck, you can even assemble it on parchment ON the baking sheet. It’ll be really difficult to lift the pastry off of another surface to transfer.
Filling: You may have some filling left over. Don’t overfill the pastry. You want to ensure the pastry is folded over the top and sealed on the ends so that filling doesn’t escape or spill over.
Serve warm: The pastry is best served warm. Top with whipped cream or sprinkle powdered sugar as desired.
Storage: Store the strudel in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in the toaster or in the oven at 350F for best results.
Let’s Get Strudel-Ing!
- Parchment paper
- 2 baking sheets
- Bench scraper or pizza cutter
- Medium mixing bowl
- Small bowl
- Pastry brush
- Aluminum foil as needed
- 2 sheets puff pastry – thawed and unfolded
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 2 Bosc pears – peeled, cored, and diced
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground clove
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 cup roughly chopped pecans
- 1 egg – beaten
- 2 tbsp turbinado sugar for topping
- 1/4 cinnamon for topping
Thaw puff pastry for about 40-50 minutes until sheets can be unfolded without ripping. Unfold sheets on parchment paper. Preheat oven to 375F.
Combine pumpkin, cranberries, diced pear, corn starch, brown sugar, spices, and salt in the medium mixing bowl. Fold in chopped pecans with spatula. Divide filling evenly between the center third of both puff pastry sheets. Use bench scraper or pizza cutter to make diagonal cuts in the outer thirds of pastry sheets. Aim for at least a half inch to an inch between each cut. Starting at the top, alternately place the pastry strips over the filling and ensure the top and bottom are sealed. The filling will not be entirely covered and that is okay.
Transfer parchment paper with strudels carefully to baking sheets. Brush each strudel with beaten egg and sprinkle turbinado sugar and cinnamon over the egg wash.
Bake strudels for 30-40 minutes or until golden and puffed. If strudel browns too quickly before puffing, place sheet of aluminum foil over top to finish baking. Serve warm.