Julian is famous for apple pies. But now that Julian apple pies are readily available via the internet and at almost every grocery store in San Diego, Julian should think about revitalizing the tourist flow to the town with a new culinary gig.
Looking back at our photographs we took that day, I'm thinking Turducken! You've heard of it by now I'm sure, the dish consisting of a partially de-boned turkey stuffed with a de-boned duck, which itself is stuffed with a small de-boned chicken.
We were surprised to see so many wild turkeys on the drive there...
Lake Cuyamaca, another nearby attraction, is home to many ducks
And a bunch of these cute little guys were running around outside one of the antique stores. Tur-duck-en! I'm just sayin'...
Or, Gooducken, substituting Goose for the turkey
We had lunch at one of the more popular restaurants in Julian, Bailey Wood Pit Barbeque. I surely would have ordered a Turducken or Gooducken plate if it had been offered!
Unfortunately, I don't have a spare million and a half sitting around, the current selling price for the restaurant, or I would seriously consider buying Bailey's. I don't mean to be negative, but that place could use a visit from Gordon Ramsay for a major facelift and some creativity in the kitchen.
Rather than ordering a slice of apple pie for dessert, we decided to bring home a half peck of fresh apples and make a few apple creations of our own.
I perused a few of my recent cooking magazines, but wanted to make something other than the ubiquitous pie, tart, or crisp. I pulled out my Cook's Illustrated The New Best Recipe and found this Quick Apple Strudel - perfect for a foggy Saturday morning.
Quick Apple Strudel
Slightly adapted from The Best New Recipe
1/2 cup golden raisins, warmed in 3 tablespoons dark rum, Calvados, or apple cider (we just happened to have a container of rum-soaked raisins in the fridge)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup fresh white bread crumbs, lightly sauteed in 1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 lbs. apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts (I used pecans), toasted
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
Juice of one small lemon
5 sheets phyllo, thawed
Whipped cream, or confectioners' sugar
Toss the apples with rum-raisins, bread crumbs, 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar, pecans, cinnamon, salt, and lemon juice.
Melt the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter. Place a large sheet of parchment paper on the counter. Gently transfer one sheet of phyllo to the parchment and liberally brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of suar. Repeat with the remaining sheets of phyllo.
Place the apple filling in a 3 inch strip about 2 1/2 inches from the bottom of the phyllo, leaving about 2 inches on either short side.
Fold the short ends of the phyllo over the apples
Fold the end closest to you over the apples and loosely roll the strudel away from you. Don't roll too tight, as it can cause some tearing during baking. Mine was a little overstuffed.
Place the finished strudel, seam-side down, on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush with the remaining melted butter and sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon sugar. Cut four, 1-inch vents in the top to allow the steam to escape.
Bake in the lower, middle rack of the oven, at 475 degrees, for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack, until warm, about 30 minutes. Serve with whipped cream, or a dusting of confectioners' sugar. Enjoy!