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April 11, 2011

The aromas this baked comfort will fill your house with are mesmerizing!  I’ve actually always wanted to make apple strudel but never bothered to look it up.  When I was living in Regensburg, Germany as an exchange student, I took a trip to Munich one weekend and had Apfelstrudel soaked in some kind of soupy mixture of warm vanilla sauce.  Or at least that’s what I thought it was.  After that, I had this once again in Austria, but a different version.  There’s also the Bulgarian version of filo dough filled with shredded apples and walnuts.  At my goodbye party at the last job I had, each person had baked for me (what an honor!) and one of the baked goodies was also Apfelstrudel, this time from Slovenia.  So determined to finally make this myself and having lost the recipe my former colleague had given me (and not in the mood for using my computer on that morning), I decided to just ‘go with the flow’ and see what happens.

It turned out alright, I must say.  The apples I used were shredded from the day before when I had made some apple cakes for my daughter’s teachers so it was really easy.  I also admit, I didn’t even make my pastry which I usually feel so keen on doing.  I used a bio version from a big store chain (please don’t hate me!) intended for pies or quiches.  As you can see, it was a very lazy day…  When the whole thing was baked and served, the apples were nice and sweet but also finely melted into the overall mixture which made the filling taste like puree as opposed to separate ingredients.  I’m not sure if the same would have happened if I had not used apples from the day before but instead immediate ones.  This is similar to the cut-up bananas getting sweeter the longer they’re exposed to air before you make your banana bread.  But I shall return to this some other time..

As this was already a long tangental introduction to my improvised Apfelstrudel, let me finally tell you how I made it, literally and figuratively.

You will need:

  • 1 pastry shell (rolled up in a long cylindrical package in any supermarket)
  • 2-3 cups of shredded apples
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts
  • 4 tbsp (brown) sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp butter (optional)
  • [ice-!] cream (OPTIONAL (please don’t kill me for suggesting this option if you’re on a diet..but on a second thought, you shouldn’t even be on my site if you’re trying to deprive yourself of food!))
  • lemon (optional)

That’s all!

Spread out some pastry and roll it out with a roll-pin (or a spare wine bottle if you don’t have such baking devices;) on a dusted surface of flour.  Transfer the dough sheet on to a greased baking pan, since it may get too heavy to transfer if you start adding all the ingredients beforehand.  After it’s all nicely spread-out on your baking surface, heap up the shredded apples longitudinally, sprinkle the walnuts, sugar and cinnamon, and place some butter over the filling.  Fold up the pastry up the filling, then sides inward and finally the larger half of the pastry on top of all the other folds, as shown in photos.

Feel free to sprinkle with more cinnamon, sugar and walnut on top of unbaked product and bake for 20 mins or until golden brown.  Serve with puddles of heavy cream and a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon, if already the plentitude of aromas and tastes are not enough for your overindulgent soul.  If making for guests, don’t ever underestimate the amount of one piece of apple strudel and make plenty!  Having more is better than having not enough.  Good to use for breakfast on a Sunday morning or a dessert as well!


From → Austrian, Seasonal, Sweets

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