Turnip strudel is a typical strudel in the Međimurje County in northern Croatia …. writes Paula Pongrac …. where my parents are from. Also, very popular are cabbage and pumpkin strudels.
All the ingredients (turnips and walnuts, or cabbage and pumpkins) were available even in times of scarcity and were typically made when there were not enough apples or cottage cheese (these two versions of strudels are more common in Slovenia and Austria).
Here is how you make a turnip strudel:
Ingredients (are not to measure so the strudel tastes different every time):
Peel and grate one large turnip. Place it in a bowl with salted water and bring to boil. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Drain it so you get rid of all the water. (When cooled you can use hands to squeeze it). You can stop at this stage and freeze it for later.
Otherwise or when defrosted, put some oil in the pan and place the drained turnip onto it, add sugar and ground walnuts and fry for some time, mixing frequently. Make sure, the walnuts and sugar are evenly mixed with the turnip. Cool the filling down.
Spread Filo pastry (two or three layers), sprinkle it with some oil and add the turnip-walnut filling. Roll it and place into buttered oven-proof pan. Repeat until you run out of Filo pastry layers and the filling. Spread sour cream over the Filo pastry and bake it until golden on the outside.
Cool the strudel down and enjoy.
Recipe by Paula Pongrac
Paula’s captions for the photographs above (top left clockwise): ‘walnut trees are very common’; ‘…. or just for a pet’; ‘fruit trees make the area colourful and pretty’; manmade streams for field drainage’.