Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Butternut Squash Strudel

A good cook is like a sorceress that dispenses happiness- Elisa Schiaparelli

My mother in law grew up in Yugoslavia.  She moved to Canada when she was 19 years old.  While she was young, she lived on a farm and frequently recounts stories to my children about homemade bread from brick ovens, "cleaning" a dirt floor, helping her mom make dough, and cleaning the pig pen and chicken hutch.
To this day she smiles with memories of the homemade food that awaited her and her sister daily when they came home from school.  One fall favourite was butternut squash strudel, which she made for us to enjoy the other day.  Here is my mother-in-law's  recipe, passed down from her own mother.

Butternut squash strudel
bake at 350 degrees F

1 butternut squash
1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup lard melted
1 package phyllo pastry
cinnamon and sugar (to taste)

1.  Prepare the butternut squash...peel, seed and grate into bowl.  Set aside.

2.  Remove Phyllo pastry from box.

3.  Prepare working area...a clean cutting board is good.  Separate out one layer of the phyllo pastry. And place pastry sheet, flat, onto the cutting board.  Cover the remaining phyllo pastry, until needed, with a cloth to prevent it from drying out.

3.  Sprinkle melted butter and lard over the phyllo sheet.  Then repeat the process 3 more times. Until you have a total of 4 stacked sheets of phyllo with butter sprinkled on each layer.

4.  Now, scoop 1/3 of the grated squash over the prepared phyllo sheets.

5.  Mix desired amount of cinnamon and sugar in a bowl.

6.  Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar onto the squash.  (my mother-in-law did a light dusting of cinnamon and sugar...you don't need too much here)

7.  Now, carefully roll the strudel closed.

8.  Sprinkle top of strudel with melted butter and lard.

9.  Place strudel carefully into a greased pan.
10.  Repeat the steps until three strudels have been made.

11.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

12.  Cut into serving sizes immediately after removing from oven.

13.  Serve warm topped with icing sugar.


  1. Looks yummy. I can't help wondering if success requires that one's mother-in-law oversee the baking process.....hee hee.....

    So, I could ask further, if your mother-in-law's mom experienced having her mother-in-law oversee her bake this recipe....

    this is all from one American girl to another, who have both experienced wonderful Serb baking, and culture.....but of course, you more than I....

  2. My sweet, Serbian mother died when I was a young teenager...at that time I had no appreciation for the wonderful culture of Serbian baking that I could have learned. She did a lot of Serbian baking (all from scratch).
    This recipe looks so much like one of her delicious streudels. I will be making this soon to share with my children! Thanks so much for posting this online.

  3. Thank you so much for your comments! I am so happy that you would like to try this recipe. I am sure your whole family will enjoy it!