Apple strudel is an Austro-Hungarian dessert, strudel spread to northern Italy towards the mid-19th century. It is cinnamon-scented, light dish, very popular in the north-east of Italy, especially in the Trentino–Alto Adige region where diverse apple varieties are grown. You will need 40 minutes to prepare it, 30 minutes to cook, plus 1 hour to set. Here is the recipe:
Servings 8 to 10
For the pastry:
- 250 g (9 oz./12/3 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 50 ml (1¾ fl oz.) water
- 30 g (1 oz.) butter, softened
For the filling:
- 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz.) cooking apples, such as granny smith or reinette 60 g (2¼ oz.) sugar
- 100 g (3½ oz.) raisins
- 60 g (2¼ oz.) pine nuts
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange (preferably unwaxed) ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 cloves
- 30 g (1 oz./½ cup) fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 knob butter
- 1 egg white, whisked
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 20 g (¾ oz.) butter, melted
- To make the pastry, pour the flour into a mixing bowl, make a well and mix in the other ingredients. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes in a barely heated (30°C/85°F) oven.
- For the filling, peel, core and chop the apples and place them in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar, washed raisins, pine nuts, citrus zest and spices and combine well. Let the mixture stand for about 30 minutes, mixing from time to time, then remove the cloves.
- Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F).
- In a small frying pan, gently fry the breadcrumbs in the butter over a low heat until
- Roll out the pastry dough to a 2–3 mm (1/16–1/8 inch) thickness then cut out three squares. Sprinkle half of each square with breadcrumbs and place a third of the apple mixture on top (leave a border at the top and bottom).
- Cut out the other side of the pastry square as per the photo opposite so you have a flap to fold over. Fold the borders over the strudel, then fold over the flap, sealing it underneath the strudel. Seal the edges with some egg white. Use the pastry offcuts to make decorations to place on top of the strudels. Glaze with the remaining egg white mixed with sugar.
- Arrange the strudels on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for about 30 minutes. Halfway through the cooking time, brush with melted butter and continue baking until the pastry is golden.