For the holidays this year, Michael made his favorite Christmas apple strudel with a few local spicebush berries thrown in for a wildcrafted Appalachian twist in a dish in which the new world meets the old...via strudel! 

Michael Akers, native to Czech Republic, grew up picking mushrooms from the time he could walk and he's loved Pilsner-style beers for many years, the infamous pale lager originating in the town of Pilsen, CZ. Although he loves Mushroom Elixir for general wellness internally, he's been experimenting with different ways to use the spent mushrooms from extracts externally. For this year, he's made a fresh batch of mushroom soap and he's taken some of the soap scraps and made a mushroom beer liquid facial soap for family and friends.

His favorite way to give during the holidays is baking savory puffed pastries, cheese straws, and Mama Nadia's apple strudel from the old country.

Grinding Spicebush Lindera benzoin Berries


Czech Apple Spicebush Strudel

4 coarsely shredded apples
2 tablespoons cinnamon
4 berries of wildcrafted spicebush (pictured below - Lindera benzoin), ground and powdered, or substitute 4 allspice berries
Freshly grated ginger to taste
3/4 - 1 cup sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
8 oz cream cheese
2 puff pastries

Grinding Spicebush Berries Lindera benzoin

Stir first six ingredients together. Add walnuts and raisins. Take softened cream cheese and spread in the middle 1/3 strip of each pastry, avoiding the inch on each end. Spread apple mixture on top of cream cheese and bring the sides up and pinch together with the ends. Brush with whipped egg whites to help the pastry adhere to each other, you may brush the tops with egg white for a shinier finish (egg substitute option: flour & water).

Bake 30-45 minutes at 400 degrees, whenever browned and puffed on top.

December 18, 2019 — Red Moon Herbs

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