The almonds or cashews need to be soaked for at least 3 hours to overnight. This soaking softens the nuts, helping to make a smoother end result. Place the nuts into a medium sized container or bowl, cover completely with cold water, and place in the refrigerator to soak.
For the Nut Crème:
Drain and then blend with maple syrup, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla
extract and water. The Nut Crème should be smooth and of a thick spoonable
consistency. Chill completely.
Putting it all together:
Preheat the oven to 150°C / 300°F / Gas Mark 2 then lay down a 60cm long piece of baking paper. Take three pieces of filo pastry and overlap to form a 45cm long rectangular base on this baking paper. Brush with melted vegan margarine and then place 3 more overlapping pieces over the base and brush with melted vegan margarine, repeating until you have 5 layers consisting of 15 sheets of filo pastry.
Spoon the half of the Nut Crème down the centre of the filo pastry, leaving 10cm space on all sides of the rectangle. Spoon the first half of the cherries on top of the Nut Crème, pressing gently down to "anchor" them in the Nut Crème. Sprinkle the first half of the slivered almonds over the top of the cherries.
To wrap the strudel, carefully fold both shorts ends over the filling. Then to prevent tearing, hold the baking paper rather than grasping the pastry directly, gently then bring one of the long sides up to cover the filling and roll gently to form a tube.
Brush the outside with melted vegan margarine. Gently lift the first strudel, using the baking paper, onto a flat baking tray. Tear off the overhanging pieces of baking paper.
Repeat the process to create a second strudel.
Bake both strudels until the filo pastry is golden, about 25 minutes.
Either rest for 10 minutes and then serve warm or cool completely in the
refrigerator and serve cold. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.