Bavarian Apple Strudel

"Posted for ZWT IV, Germany. From The New German Cookbook. I have made this with a combination of fruits and found that you have to be careful about patting the fruits dry because the filling can get quite wet - though it's still delicious."
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  • Preheat oven to 475. Butter a 13X9 baking pan and set aside.
  • Place the raisins in a small bowl, add the rum and let soak while you proceed.
  • Mix cold water and lemon juice, set aside.
  • Peel and core apples, cut into eighths, then cut each eighth crosswise into thin slices, letting them drop into the water and lemon juice mixture; set aside.
  • Combine the sugar, lemon zest and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Spread the phyllo sheets on a damp cloth. Lightly brush the left half of the top sheet of phyllo with a little of the melted butter and fold in half as if closing a book. Fit into the bottom of the prepared baking pan and brush lightly with more butter. (You can also spray the sheets with butter flavored spray - it still tastes great and you save a lot of fat - very easy too).
  • Layer in 5 more sheets of phyllo, buttering, folding and buttering as before. (The phyllo sheets may not fit the bottom of the pan exactly - if too big, tuck under any overhang; if too small, stagger placement so that bottom of pan is covered.).
  • Drain the apple slices and pat very dry. Arrange half the slices in the pan on top of the phyllo.
  • Sprinkle with half the sugar mixture and half the raisins and rum; then spread with half the creme fraiche.
  • Top with four more phyllo sheets, again brushing with butter, folding and brushing again after placing in pan. Make sure the phyllo covers the apples.
  • Arrange the remaining apples on top of the phyllo, sprinkle with remaining sugar, rum and raisins.
  • Spread the remaining creme fraiche and set aside.
  • Bring the cream and rosewater to a simmer in an uncovered small heavy saucepan over low heat, then pour evenly over apples. Finally top with remaining phyllo sheets (about eight), using the same buttering, folding and buttering technique.
  • Place the pan of strudel on a baking sheet (to catch any boil over) and slide onto the middle rack.
  • Bake uncovered for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 400 and continue baking, uncovered, till bubbling and richly browned. *THE RECIPE DOES NOT SPECIFY A TIME HERE - begin checking after 10 minutes - I baked it about 20-25 minutes after the initial 10. (if it browns too fast, cover with foil).
  • remove from the oven and cool 15 minutes.
  • Sift confectioner's sugar evenly over the top, cut into large squares and serve at once.

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