A British Christmas tradition is adapted into a fun and delicious holiday dessert dish. Christmas Crackers, also perfect for New Year’s parties, are a novelty item and a fun part of the holiday dinner. I turned this idea into homemade apple and pear strudel Christmas crackers, a delicious strudel filling wrapped in phyllo dough. Want to know more about about the tradition of Christmas crackers? Read on…
Christmas Crackers are a tradition that has been around since the mid 1800’s. Made of cardboard tubes wrapped in Christmas themed paper, they are placed next to every dinner place setting at Christmas dinner and are pulled with the person sitting next to you. Whoever has the largest portion of the cracker in their hand gets to keep the goodies inside; usually a small toy, a joke, and a paper hat. The hats are to emulate the crowns of the Three Wise Men. For extra fun, the crackers make a snap when pulled, making this dessert equally as fun for a New Year’s Eve party or dinner.
Invented by the candy maker, Tom Smith, who when visiting France, was inspired by the brightly covered almond bonbon candies. He tried to re-create this on his return to England by including riddles with the candies, but they did not sell very well. One cold evening, he was sitting in front of his blazing and crackling fire and it suddenly came to him; the ‘crackers’ need to make an attention grabbing snapping noise when pulled to open them, and so the Christmas cracker was born.
Now back to the food inspired by these crackers. Apple strudel is delicious, but I went one step further and filled them with apple and pear strudel. Tart Granny Smiths are offset with sweet Bosc pears with brown sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice, all wrapped in crispy phyllo dough for a delicious, and not overly sweet, dessert. The perfect finger dessert for entertaining, and they make a delicious breakfast (if there are any leftover!).
- 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced into small cubes
- 2 Bosc pears, peeled and cut into cubes
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
- ½ cup raisins
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
- 1 package fillo dough, defrosted
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- To a mixing bowl, add the apples, pears, brown sugar, cinnamon, walnuts, raisins, lemon juice and zest, mix well and set aside.
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat.
- Lay out phyllo sheets onto a clean surface and cut them into 14 " x 6 " rectangle. Then cut the rectangle in half to get 7" x 6 " pieces of dough.
- Cover the dough with a damp towel to prevent it from drying out.
- Take 1 sheet of film from under the towel and brush carefully with melted butter.
- Lay another sheet on top, brush with the butter and repeat 1 more time.
- Using a slotted spoon, add 1 tablespoon of the filling onto the long end of the dough, leaving an edge on each side. Try to get as little liquid as possible or they may burst open and be soggy.
- Roll the dough over the filling to make a cigar.
- Pinch close to the filling, about 2 inches from the end and tie with kitchen string, repeat on the other end.
- Place the cracker onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover with a damp towel.
- Repeat this process until all are made.
- Brush them with melted butter and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
We hope you enjoy this fun recipe for Apple and Pear Strudel Christmas Crackers from SoFabFood Contributor, Janette from Culinary Ginger, as much as we do. If you enjoyed this fun party dessert idea, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter so you never miss another one like it. For daily recipe inspiration, like us on Facebook, follow us on Pinterest, and stop by our Google+ Community to see all of the amazing recipes our community members are sharing. Enjoy!