Back in the days of world's fairs, the orchards of Paonia, Colorado, used to win awards; nowadays, Paonia jelly and jam makers sweep the Delta County Fair. Today most of the fruit is consumed locally, at places like Smith Fork Ranch, although some of it is used by commercial jelly producers like Fire Mountain Fruit (available from alidasfruits.com). You can substitute nectarines for the plums here.
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2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 6 tablespoons melted
1 Gala apple—peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch wedges
2 large red plums, cut into 1/4-inch wedges
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of allspice
Pinch of ground cloves
1 tablespoon dark rum
8 sheets of phyllo dough
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the apple wedges and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until golden, about 3 minutes. Scrape the apples into a large bowl.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet. Add the plums and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until just tender, about 3 minutes. Pour off and discard any juices.
Return the apple wedges to the skillet. Add the raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice and cloves and stir over moderately high heat to melt the sugar. Add the rum, stir well and scrape the fruit back into the bowl; let cool.
Place a sheet of phyllo dough on a work surface with a long edge in front of you and brush the phyllo with some of the melted butter. Continue layering with the remaining 7 sheets of phyllo dough, buttering between each sheet. Spoon the apple-plum filling in a strip that is parallel to and about 2 inches from the long edge of the stacked phyllo sheets. Lift the long edge up and over the fruit filling, then roll up the strudel, pushing in the sides as you go.
Transfer the strudel, seam side down, to a baking sheet and brush with the remaining melted butter. Using a serrated knife, make 4 diagonal cuts in the top to allow steam to escape as the strudel bakes. Bake until the phyllo is golden brown and the filling is starting to bubble, about 35 minutes. Let the strudel cool slightly, then slice and serve with vanilla ice cream.
The apple-plum filling can be refrigerated overnight.
A sweet, toffee-flavored añejo (aged) rum from Venezuela will echo the hint of rum in the filling.
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