1 1/4 cups apple juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 pound apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick (about 5 cups)
1/2 cup dark seedless raisins
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped pecans
4 sheets phyllo dough
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) melted butter
3 tablespoons fine dried breadcrumbs
Confectioners' sugar, for garnish
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, create a slurry by combining 1/4 cup of the apple juice with the cornstarch. Mix until smooth and set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the apples with the remaining 1 cup apple juice, raisins, sugar and cinnamon until the apples are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir the cornstarch slurry (it may have settled) and add it to the apple mixture, stirring constantly until smooth and lump free. Simmer for 1 minute more, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and cool. Stir in the pecans, cover and chill.
Lay out 1 phyllo sheet on a clean, flat, lightly floured surface. Brush with some melted butter and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs. Repeat this procedure with two more layers of phyllo, butter and breadcrumbs. Top with the fourth sheet of phyllo. Spread the apple filling evenly onto the phyllo surface, leaving a 1/2-inch clean edge on all sides. Roll into a log, folding the edges at each end beneath the log and brush with some melted butter. Carefully place the strudel on the prepared baking sheet, seam-side down. Bake the strudel until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes before cutting into 2-inch slices. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar just before serving. Serve plain or with ice cream.
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