Apfelstrudel is a typical Austrian layered (phyllo dough) pastry with an apple filling inside, which is just absolutely delicious. It is best when served warm with Vanilla ice cream and accompanied by a cup of coffee.
Take a couple of bites and you’ll have your taste buds dancing.
The Filling: The filling is made of thinly sliced apples, sugar, cinnamon, dried breadcrumbs, raisins and small pieces of walnuts (optional). A great substitute for the breadcrumbs is yellow cake crumbs – bake a flat piece of yellow cake and let it dry out and break into crumbs. The apples should be good cooking apples that are tart and crispy.
The Dough (The old fashioned way): In preparation for the dough you should have a substantial table top, a roller pin and clean, baking type table cloth and an apron handy. The ingredients are simple; fine flour, butter (olive oil can be used a substitute), water or apple juice, and salt. Now for the hard part; preparing the dough, which needs to be kneaded to make it very thin and elastic. Typically this is done by punching it down and gently kneading it till the dough is smooth and elastic and all air pockets have been removed. Next, the prepared dough is placed on the floured cloth, hand stretched and rolled, until it is very thin. So thin that you can almost see through it. Be sure to mend tears that appear during the rolling and stretching process. Although not as authentic and as good, a frequent substitute for the “Old Fashioned Way”, is frozen phyllo dough.
Preparing the Filling: If using bread crumbs, brown them in some butter (although not as tasty, use olive oil as a substitute) until golden brown. Peel and core the apples, cut them into thin slices and sprinkle them with sugar, cinnamon and spread some bread crumbs or the yellow cake crumbs on top. Depending on your taste, scatter some raisins and/or coarsely grated walnuts (optional) on top also.
The Rum Way of Preparing the Filling: This is the way Matt, at the nearby Butcher shop and Deli does it and it tastes even better. Take the sliced apples along with the raisins and let them soak in rum overnight. The cake mix instead of the bread crumbs is another part of Matt’s Apfelstrudel recipe. Look them up at Alpine Steakhouse.
Preparing for the Oven: Brush the Apfestrudel dough with melted butter (may not be the healthiest but, the flavor can’t be beat…..) and spread the bread crumbs over it. Before baking, it is best to sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over the top which should be coated with either butter or olive oil. Using the cloth to help lift the dough, roll the Apfelstrudel up from the sides as you would a jelly roll, and then towards you. See why you may want an apron. Place it seam side down on a baking tray, brush generously with butter and bake at 180°C (350°F) until golden brown.
Ready to Eat: Once out of the oven, as an option you may want to sprinkle some powdered sugar on it, and let it cool a bit. Serve while it’s still warm, with vanilla ice cream and a good cup of coffee. OK, OK, where do I sign up?
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