Cheese, squash and apple strudel

A strudel is really only a pie but it is a quick and easy to make pie, especially if you have the filling pre-cooked. For an extra taste of Orkney brush the pastry sheets with melted Orkney butter.  

Serves 4-6 

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350g butternut squash 

1 onion 

1 tbsp olive oil 

1tsp each ground cumin and paprika 

100g cream cheese 

1 eating apple  

1 tbsp lemon juice 

100g Orkney Cheddar, plus a little extra grated 

2 tbsp pumpkin seeds 

Fresh parsley and a chilli (optional) 

150g Orkney butter, approx 

1 pack filo pastry sheets (pack sizes do vary, but any sheets left over freeze well) 

Cooking instructions

Peel, seed and chop the butternut into small dice, about 6-8mm. Finely chop the onion. Heat a frying pan, add the oil, prepared veg, the cumin and paprika and cook over a medium low heat for about 10 mins until the squash is starting to soften. Stir frequently. 

Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl. Quarter and core the unpeeled apple then cut it into small dice and and add it to the cream cheese with the lemon juice sprinkled over it. Cut the Orkney Cheddar into small cubes and add it with the pumpkin seeds, the squash and onion. Seed and core the chilli if using and chop it finely with the parsley. Add to the bowl with some salt and pepper and mix the filling together. 

Melt the butter in a small pan over a gentle heat. Brush a Swiss roll tin/baking sheet with a little of the melted butter and lay the first sheet of filo pastry in the tin, letting the pastry overlap the edges. Brush that sheet of pastry with butter then add another, repeating until you have a stack of 5 or 6 buttered sheets – you need two left to go over the filling. Preheat the oven to 200C, gas mark 6. 

Pile the filling in a long sausage shape down the centre of the pastry, leaving about 4cm clear at each end. Pat the filling into shape then fold the ends of the filo up, brush them with butter and then fold over the bottom pastry, butter and finally the top. Brush all over with butter and then, if you can, carefully turn the strudel over so that the joins are underneath and brush with butter again. Cut 3 or 4 slashes through the pastry to let the steam escape and keep the pastry crisp. Bake the strudel for 20-25 mins until golden and then scatter a little grated Orkney Cheddar over it and bake for a further 5 mins. 

Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving. This strudel is also absolutely delicious cold and is good for both picnics and packed lunches.