wondering that i finally decided to write about apple strudel. i thought it was just so omnipresent and ordinary, but there is quite some stuff to share to ensure a heavenly experience …
but my airbnb guests made me reconsider this : )
it starts with selecting the right apples. balanced taste with a pronounced tartness is essential. a classic and delicious option would be Belle de Boscop, a popular heritage variety. it belongs to the reinet variants, which all make a good choice.
early in summer in Austria we also have the white transparent (Klarapfel), which are usually the first apple variety to be harvested in our gardens by the end of June. They originate in Latvia and are tart and fresh cooking apples. my personal favourite apple is Jaques Lebel (Jakob Lebel), another heritage variety. anyway, if possible choose a tart and crispy variety for best results.
the pastry: as i learned the traditional style of preparing apple strudel from my grandmum i am not easily satisfied with store bought pastry, as some challenge is fun.
the recipe is simple and you only need a few ingredients, but of course producing a thin and crisp result, you will need some practice. and practice only comes with … well, practice.
my grandmum taught me to spread the filo type pastry so thin, that you can read through love letters (today we might use phone messages maybe ;)?).
250g spelt flour
3 tbsp plant oil (neutral)
1 pinch of salt
for the pastry the flour is piled up and a small basin is formed on top. there you can add the egg, oil and water to knead everything into a soft dough. form two balls and store them in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
1 kg of apples approximately
3 lemons (juice and zests)
1 tbsp ceylon cinnamon
100 g raisins (ideally steeped in rum)
and depending on the apple, some tablespoons of crystal sugar to balance the tartness
200 g breadcrumbs (homemade or the organic spelt variety from spar)
200 g butter
in the meantime cut and finely slice the apples. i prefer to leave the skins as they contain nutritious qualities and as long as you slice the apples thin enough, the taste is enhanced rather than impaired.
i soak them in the lemon juice with cinnamon, vanilla and zests added. in the end raisins and sugar are included.
the breadcrumbs are roasted in a hot pan until they are golden, the i add one third of the butter. the rest of the butter is melted.
it is time to spread the filo pastry. ideally you have a pastry board or at least a large (wooden) surface to first roll out then spread the dough with your fingers. i also use a linen bedspread – just for this purpose – on top to provide ideal conditions to later transfer the strudel onto the baking tray.
now the most important ingredient is patience and some intution to treat the thin pastry very thorougly.
you will immediately notice your emotional state by the results you get.
best results are guaranteed in a balanced, calm and not too hungry mode of being.
and as i told, practice also gets you there.
once the pastry is spread out thin, glaze it with butter using a cooking brush. then in the middle add a run of roasted breadcrumbs and add the apples on top.
now one side at the time roll the pastry over the apples using the linen. every layer needs some butter to glaze it. ideally the result is a not too „hole“-some strudel.
move it onto the tray as gracefully as possible and once more use butter to glaze.
baking at 165-170°c for approximately 45 minutes to ideally enjoy the strudel still warm. <3
pictures follow soon …