Apple strudel is originally a Hungarian dessert which is widely believed to be Austrian or German! But whatever its origins, it is loved by all. Flakey leaves of filo or even puff pastry, filled with tender apples, raisins, sometimes some almonds, butter, cinnamon and sugar, what’s not to like?
Traditionally, it is made with filo sheets, individually buttered and with dried bread crumbs scattered loosely over the butter before the next filo sheet is added. Often 3 or 4 sheets will be used, the filling then placed down the middle, then one side of filo sheets laid over the filling and then everything rolled over the remaining filo and baked to a crispy golden brown. That’s my favorite way – but it’s much easier to use puff pastry! It won’t be as light and flakey but almost as good. Most frozen puff pastry packages give instructions which are easy to follow.
In Europe when you order Apple Strudel, they will often ask you: Mit Schlag? which is: with whipped cream? Here in the USA, we often serve it with ice cream.
It’s best served warm so the pastry portion is flakey, the apples warm and sweet and whether you like it with ice cream, whipped cream or both, it makes a wonderful dessert after any meal.
So, tomorrow at Oktoberfest Palm Springs we hope to find a traditional dessert: Apple strudel with or without SCHLAG!
Here’s a short cut to make a pastry that’s similar to puff pastry and easier to make at home if you don’t want to use filo or regular puff pastry.
- 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 Tbs. sugar, divided
- 1/3 c raisins
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 3 Tbsp. chopped or sliced almonds
- 1 Tbsp. fine unseasoned bread crumbs
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 2 tsp. unsalted butter, divided melted
- 2 c flour
- 2 sticks (1/2 lb.) unsalted butter
- 1 tsp. lemon salt (citric acid) *
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 c ice water
In a medium sauce pan on medium-low heat, cook the apples and raisins with 2 Tbsp. sugar for about 10 minutes or until apples are tender but not mushy. They should still hold their shape. Drain the liquid and let apples sit and cool to room temperature.
Cut the 2 sticks of butter into small pieces and add to a large bowl with the flour and salts. Cut the butter into the flour as for pie crust with 2 knives, or your hands until it becomes crumbly (you can do this in a food processor by pulsing into crumbs – don’t let it come together). Add ice water a Tablespoon at a time, until dough comes together. Kneed slightly on wax paper then roll it in the wax paper and chill in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Once dough is chilled, place on floured board and roll into rectangle, keeping edges straight. If necessary, trim and add trimmings to ends and make it even.
Combine the almonds, bread crumbs, cinnamon and remaining sugar. Using a pastry brush, brush the dough down the middle of the pastry with the melted butter, leaving a 2′ border on both long edges. Sprinkle sugar mixture on top of melted butter, then carefully spoon apple-raisin mixture on top of sugar mixture, still keeping 2″ border on each long side.
Roll one long side on top of apples and pat down gently. Lifting entire roll carefully, roll over onto the other side of the pastry. Set entire strudel on parchment paper lined cookie sheet. With a sharp knife, make 4 slashes at intervals just through the top of the pastry to allow steam to escape.
Brush the top with remaining melted butter and sprinkle with additional cinnamon and sugar if desired.
Bake about 30 minutes or until top is golden brown.
Serve warn with whipped cream or ice cream.
* If you don’t have citric acid, increase salt to 1-1/2 tsp. and add 1 tsp. cold lemon juice before you add ice water. Citric acid can also be found in spice departments or Jewish sections labeled “sour salt”.