Apple Strudel (Strudel di Mele)

January 13, 2015

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: Apple Strudel -- a dessert of apples, pine nuts, and raisins or currants rolled up in paper-thin pastry -- is the defining dish of Italy's Trentino-Alto Adige region. This autonomous province borders Austria to the north and is squeezed between the Veneto and Lombardy regions to the south. Knowing this -- and that the region was part of Austria until after the first World War-- helps explain why this Austrian favorite is also beloved in Italy.
Despite the look of the recipe ingredients and method, this is actually a rather simple dessert to prepare and won't take nearly as long as you might think.
Emiko

Makes: 2 strudels (serves 8 to10)

Ingredients

For the pastry:

  • 2 1/2 cups (300 grams) flour
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) warm water
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar (white wine or apple cider are best)

For the filling:

  • 4 apples (Golden Delicious preferably), about 750 grams
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons (50 grams) currants
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup (60 grams) turbinado sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup (70 grams) breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup (80 grams) butter
  • 2 tablespoons rum, optional
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. For the pastry: Place the flour in a bowl and make a well in the center. Place the water, egg, 2 teaspoons olive oil, salt, and vinegar in the center and whisk with a fork to combine, until it begins to get too difficult to whisk. From here, knead the dough until soft, elastic, and well-combined. Brush the dough with olive oil and let rest, covered, in a bowl for 30 minutes.
  2. For the filling: Peel and core the apples, and chop them into thin slices, then place immediately in a bowl with the zest and juice of the lemon and toss. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the currants, pine nuts, turbinado sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. In a small skillet, toast the breadcrumbs in half of the butter over a medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until the breadcrumbs become coated in the butter. Set aside.
  5. For the assembly: Divide the pastry into 2 balls. Roll out 1 ball of pastry on a floured tea towel to a rectangle roughly 12 x 16 inches (30 x 40cm) and thin enough to see your hand through the other side.
  6. Brush melted butter over the whole pastry. Scatter half of the toasted breadcrumbs evenly over the pastry, leaving a border of about 4 inches (10cm). Combine the chopped apples with the currant mixture and the rum (if using), then toss to combine. Place half of the apple mixture over the breadcrumbs and, with the help of the tea towel, gently fold the pastry from the long side, then roll to close the pastry firmly (but not so tight that it stretches and breaks!). Fold the ends underneath. Transfer the pastry to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush with melted butter to cover entirely. Repeat with the rest of the pastry and filling to create the second strudel.
  7. Bake the strudels at 350ºF (180ºC) for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Let cool slightly, then transfer to a baking rack. You can serve this warm or cold, with a simple dusting of confectioners' sugar or a dollop of unsweetened, fresh whipped cream or ice cream.

More Great Recipes:
Pastry|Apple|Breadcrumbs|Currant|Fruit|Pine Nut|Vinegar|Rum|Fall|Spring|Summer|Winter

Reviews (5) Questions (0)

5 Reviews

Dessito February 22, 2015
I found the proportions of the filling to dough to be completely off. I was barely able to wrap half my apple mixture with the whole dough (using the second crust on top in order to make any sort of seal). Granted, I should have weighed the apples, but I did start with 4 Golden Delicious as directed. My disappointment was so great, it will take me a while to attempt again with my own, adjusted, amount of filling. Otherwise the flavors are great, so hopefully that motivates me enough.
 
Author Comment
Emiko March 1, 2015
If you do attempt it again, try it with the measurements given and I promise it will work out just fine ;)
 
notoriousBiC February 5, 2015
Dear Emiko,<br />I tried the recipe and it came out to be delicious, but the pastry looked dry even though I basted it with butter on the inside and out. It also baked up rather pale even though fully cooked. Do you have any tips for dry looking strudel crust? Thank you!
 
Author Comment
Emiko February 6, 2015
Hi there! When it is fresh out of the oven it is dry but wonderfully crisp and as you let it cool (or, even more so, if you can wait till the next day), it becomes soft. I'm not sure how you were hoping it would turn out and whether you're in the crisp or soft camp but if you prefer soft, then maybe you will need to do this the day before you're hoping to eat it!
 
notoriousBiC February 6, 2015
Thank you! It tasted great both days. It just wasn't as photogenically golden brown as I hoped, but the dusting of powdered sugar also solves that.