Prep 40 mins
Cook 45 mins
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 vanilla beans, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 fluid ounces heavy whipping cream
- 2 fluid ounces water
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate or 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 lbs Anjou pears, peeled,cored,cut into ¾ inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 3⁄4 cup toasted hazelnuts
- 12 vanilla wafer cookies
- 10 sheets phyllo dough
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- vanilla ice cream
- fresh mint sprig
- Combine the sugar and vanilla in a food processor and blend until the beans are very finely chopped.
- Sift the vanilla sugar into a bowl and discard the contents of the sieve; cover and set aside.
- Combine the cream, water, and 3 tablespoons of the vanilla sugar in a saucepan.
- Stir until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil.
- Remove from the heat, add the chocolate, and whisk until smooth.
- Whisk in the brandy.
- Mix ½ cup of the vanilla sugar and cornstarch in a bowl.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet, then add the pears and sauté until tender and golden.
- Sprinkle the cornstarch mixture over the pears and stir to blend.
- Simmer until the juices are very thick, stirring often.
- Remove from the heat, mix in the lemon juice, and let cool.
- Finely grind the nuts, cookies, and 2 tablespoons of the vanilla sugar in the food processor; transfer to a small bowl.
- Butter a baking sheet and place a phyllo sheet on a work surface.
- Brush the phyllo with butter, top with a second phyllo sheet, and brush again with butter.
- Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of the nut mixture.
- Repeat layering with 6 more phyllo sheets, buttering and sprinkling each with 3 tablespoons of the nut mixture.
- Top with another phyllo sheet and brush with butter.
- Top with another phyllo sheet (for a total of 10 sheets) and brush with butter.
- Starting 2 inches from the long side and 2½ inches from the short side, spoon the filling in a 3-inch-wide and 12-inch-long log parallel to one of the long sides.
- Fold the short sides over the filling and unsalted butter the folded edges.
- Roll up the strudel lengthwise, enclosing the filling, and transfer to the greased baking sheet.
- Brush the strudel thoroughly with butter.
- Preheat your oven to 375°F and bake the strudel until golden brown, about 45 minutes.
- Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting with a serrated knife into crosswise sections.
- Spoon warm chocolate sauce onto each serving plate and place the strudel atop the sauce.
- Place a scoop of ice cream alongside, garnish with mint, and serve.