Baking, Cakes and pastries, Czech Food, Desserts, Vegetarian

Ultimate apple strudel

Hello, how are you all doing? As I told you in my last post, I always find the beginning of autumn very exciting!

The days are shorter, and crispier. The weather gets colder, and there is more need for warming meals and comfort food.

And most importantly, there are so many new seasonal ingredients on the table! Apples, pears, mushrooms, pumpkins, cabbage, nuts, wine… the list goes on.

So today, I’d love to share with you a recipe which I call ‘Ultimate apple strudel’. It’s an improved version of my mum’s apple strudel.

Whilst hers is honestly great and delicious, I have added a few ingredients that make it way richer – and not just in taste, but also in nutrition.

The main ingredient in apple strudel are apples, of course.

Feel free to use any type of apples you can get!

I’ve tried to make this strudel countless times with many different types of apples, and there wasn’t any occasion when it didn’t work!

Just remember to taste them before baking, to check the sugar levels.

When you do that, you’ll know if to use more or less sugar than this recipe suggests.

This recipe is suited for puff pastry, which belongs to my most favourite ready-made items in grocery’s.

Puff pastry is easy to use, very versatile and saves you some precious time preparing it. Also, it’s usually for a really good value (about £1 for a packet)!

Um, have I mentioned we’re gonna be using one pack of pastry for making two strudels? Yes, that makes it even better value!

I prefer to use light or low fat puff pastry, because it is little bit better for my body. However, you can use any type you like!

The ready-rolled one is super convenient, but don’t worry if it’s not available – the one in a block will serve you just as well, you just need to roll it out yourself.

Always remember to take the pastry out of the fridge at least 30mins prior to baking. This means it will be soft and ready for any manipulation.

If you’re using frozen one, make sure it’s fully thawed in time. In the best case overnight in the fridge.

Finally, the ‘magic’ extras in my recipe are walnuts and raisins.

Walnuts add a crunchy texture to the whole bake, and are source of protein and important vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron and Vitamin B6.

Raisins kind of ‘wake up’ when they’re baked together with juices from the apples. These dried grapes become soft and juicy once more and add more sweet flavour to the strudel.

Raisins also contain fair amount of magnesium, calcium, iron, Vitamin B6 – however this is mostly in smaller doses than walnuts. Be mindful that raisins do contain a lot of sugar!

Now, let’s get baking!

Freshly baked apple strudel. Is there anything better on a crisp autumn day?

Ultimate apple strudel

Ingredients for 2 strudels (12 servings)

  • 1 pack ready rolled light puff pastry
  • 12 medium apples
  • 2tbsp golden caster or granulated sugar
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 25g unsalted butter, melted (warm)
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 free range egg, beaten
  • plain flour (for dusting)
  • optional: icing sugar, vanilla ice-cream (for serving)

Method

  1. Take the puff pastry out of the fridge 30 mins prior baking.
  2. Peel the apples. Using a grater, grate the apples into a large deep bowl. Do not grate the cores.
  3. Chop the walnuts and divide them into two parts, set aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan.
  5. Melt the butter in a saucepan on a hob. If you prefer to use microwave, make sure to use a microwave-safe mug and turn the microwave on low heat for about 1 minute, stir and add another minute.
  6. Roll out the pastry on a large cutting board. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the pastry in half. Set both halves aside. In the next steps, I’m preparing the strudels separately. If you have enough working space, feel free to make both strudels at the same time!
  7. Dust the working area with some plain flour, so the pastry sheets don’t get stuck on the surface. Take one half of the pastry off the baking paper and place it on the dusted working surface.
  8. Rub some flour on a roller, and roll the pastry evenly until it’s about 1-1.5mm thick. If needed, fold the pastry sheet and start rolling it again until you get almost rectangular shape, about 25x35cm. The corners don’t have to be perfect, but what you want is a solid (not broken) rectangular sheet to lay the apples on.
  9. Using your hands, divide the grated apples into two equal parts.
  10. Take handful of the grated apples and slightly squish them over the bowl. Once some of the juices go out, place the apples onto the rolled out pastry. Repeat this until you use one half of the apples. Distribute the apples evenly on the pastry.
  11. Sprinkle with half of chopped walnuts (1/6 cup) and half of raisins (1/4 cup).
  12. Season evenly with 1tbsp sugar and 1/2tsp cinnamon.
  13. Using a tablespoon, pour over half of the melted butter.
  14. Start rolling the strudel: Using both hands, start from one of the longer sides, roll the pastry with all the contents up carefully until you reach the other end. Make sure no fillings are falling down from the bottom. Stretch the pastry carefully if needed. Fold the ends inwards, facing the bottom.
  15. Place on a baking tray with greaseproof/baking paper. Prick top of the strudel with a fork several times.
  16. Prepare the second strudel – repeat steps 7-15.
  17. Using a brush, glaze the strudels with a beaten egg.
  18. Place the baking tray into the oven and bake for 45-50mins, or until golden-brown on the outside. Don’t open the oven during baking time.
  19. Decorate with some icing sugar and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. Enjoy!

Prep time: 35mins | Bake time: 45mins || Total time: 80mins

Note: Peeled apples will turn brown on the outside after a while, this is a natural process called oxidation – don’t worry, they are fine!

Top tip: The remaining juice in the apple bowl is 100% apple juice, full of vitamins and minerals, drink it!

17 thoughts on “Ultimate apple strudel”

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