I ate honey over my mom's cheese pies (tiropitakia) when I was growing up and loved every bite of it :)
So I thought to myself, why not create a dessert version of this yummy combination in strudel form? What a great idea it was! I added sliced almonds for some extra crunch and wrapped it in some puff pastry; EVERYTHING tastes better wrapped in puff pastry ;) and the almond and cheese strudel with honey was born!! Can you hear the angels singing? You will after tasting it....
Here's how you can make it at home:
1 puff pastry sheet
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1 cup ricotta cheese (strained overnight or for 4 hours)
1 cup cream cheese at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
honey for drizzling on top
1 egg yolk & 2 tablespoons of water
Defrost the puff pastry sheet overnight in the refrigerator. Roll it out into a 17 x 11 inch rectangle. If you don't have a rolling pin, use a glass wine bottle, just like I did....
Brush some egg wash around the edges of the puff pastry. This will act as a glue to prevent the filling from escaping during baking.
Sprinkle 1/2 of the almonds onto the center of the puff pastry and dust with cinnamon.
In a bowl, blend the cream cheese, ricotta, salt and sugar with a spatula. Add the egg yolk with the extracts and mix until incorporated.
Spoon the cheese mixture over the sliced almonds and cinnamon. Sprinkle the rest of the sliced almonds, saving about one tablespoons to sprinkle on the outside of the strudel. Dust with more cinnamon and roll. roll the puff pastry like you would fold a letter. The filling is in the center, so fold one third of the dough over the filling and then roll it over the last third. Pinch all of the sides to seal it and press the edges down with a fork.
Brush the top of the strudel with the remaining egg wash and scour it with a knife making two x's. Sprinkle one tablespoon of sliced almonds over the egg wash.
Place the strudel in a half sheet baking pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 45 minutes to on hour until puffy and golden.
Drizzle with honey and dust with cinnamon. Enjoy hot or warm!!!