Austrian Apple Strudel

Margaret Rees takes no shortcuts making the paper thin pastry and spiced apple filling for this traditional Austrian pudding
Austrian Apple Strudel
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes plus resting
  • Effort: hard

Ingredients

For the filling

  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 100 g freshwhite breadcrumbs
  • 1 kg cooking apples, peeled
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 80 g white sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 50 g raisins, soaked in 1 tbsp rum
  • 50 g flaked almonds, toasted

For the strudel dough

  • 200 g strong white bread flour
  • 125 ml warm water
  • 1 tsp white wine
  • 1 tbsp butter

To serve

  • icing sugar, for dusting
  • vanilla custard

Tips and Suggestions

filo pastry can be use as a substitute for the strudel dough.

Method

1. For the filling: heat the butter in a small frying pan and fry the breadcrumbs until lightly browned.

2. Coarsely grate the apples into a bowl and stir in the lemon zest and juice. Add the sugar, spices, raisins and almonds.

3. For the strudel dough: mix all the dough ingredients in a warm bowl and knead heavily, banging on the board until silky smooth and blistering. Brush over the dough with melted butter and cover the bowl. Leave in a warm place for 30 minutes.

4. You want to use the pastry while it is still warm. Turn it out onto on a large, lightly floured cotton cloth and gradually work out to a large rectangle, stretching softly using your floured finger tips. Flour your hands and slip them, palms down, under the centre of the dough. Working towards the edges, stretch the dough out across the back of your hands until it is paper thin. Cut off the thick edge with scissors.

5. Sprinkle the fried breadcrumbs all over the pastry then pile the apple mixture in a strip along the edge of the dough nearest to you. Fold in the side edges of the pastry. Using the cloth to help lift the dough, roll the strudel into a large Swiss roll shape starting from the edge with the filling. Press together firmly. Secure neatly and use the cloth to lift the strudel onto a baking tray with a shallow rim. Traditionally apple strudels should be nudged into a large crescent shape. Brush with melted butter.

6. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.

7. Bake the strudel for 45 minutes. After 30 minutes brush the juices seeping out from the centre over the pastry and cover with tin foil if the pastry is browning too quickly. Dust the strudel with icing sugar before serving. Eat with a thin vanilla custard, maybe flavoured with a little rum.

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