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Making apple strudel is amazingly easy. It is a very thin dough made of water and filled with a flavorful apple (or fruit) filling. Are you curious about it? Join me in learning how to make it. You won’t be disappointed.
I love this recipe because it is rustic, nutritious, yet light at the same time. Very rich in fiber because of the apples and the raisins, it is also pleasantly sweet. It can be part of a rich breakfast or a satisfying snack after school.
It goes well with a good cappuccino, a tea, or an herbal infusion. Imagine yourself in a mountain chalet in the winter; it is snowing outside, and you are having a good cup of tea with a slice of warm apple strudel that signifies warmth and home goodness. In truth, it fits every season; when it is very hot out, combine it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a little freshly whipped cream.
Where does apple strudel come from?
This is the Italian version, so if you are looking for the real traditional recipe, you have to knock on the doors of the families in the small villages in the northeastern part of Italy near the border with Germany where strudel originally comes from.
The best apples for the perfect strudel
With more than 2,500 apples to choose from in the US, the best fit are ones that are not too sweet; they preserve their consistency and do not lose water when cooked. Some of the favorite baking apples are Granny Smith, Jonathan, Cortland, or Honeycrisp that you can find at the grocery store or at apple orchards in late summer or early fall. Always choose organic ones if possible.
Wash and rinse them carefully, peel them and remove any brown parts, and sprinkle them with lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.
Italian Apple Strudel—an Easy Dessert to Make
For the strudel dough
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour (250g)
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp of water (150ml)
- 2 ½ tbsp of oil, peanut, or safflower (10g)
- ¼ tsp of salt (1.5g)
For the filling
- 1 pound of baking apples (roughly 3 medium-sized apples) (500g)
- 1/2 cup of raisins (100g)
- 2 tbsp of sugar (20g)
- 2 tbsp of butter (28g)
- 3 tbsp of apricot jam (50g)
- crumbled digestive biscuits or breadcrumbs
- 3 tbsp of rum (50g)
- zest from one lemon
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 egg beaten
- In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, oil, and then add the water, a little at a time. Mix until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place it in a lightly oiled bowl and let stand for 30 minutes.
- Soak the raisins in the rum with the same quantity of water. Peel, core, and dice the apples. In a bowl combine the apples with the sugar, the raisins, the rum, and the melted butter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it aside in the fridge.
- On a pastry board lay down a kitchen towel, sprinkle with flour, and roll the dough as thin as 1/8 inch (2-3mm).
- Sprinkle the dough with breadcrumbs or a few crumbled biscuits in order to soak up the liquid from the apples.
- Pile the apple filling on the breadcrumbs;
- Then roll up the strudel with the help of the towel.
- Seal the edges with a little beaten egg.
- Transfer the strudel to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, brush with some beaten egg, and dust with a mix of sugar and cinnamon. Make some diagonal incisions on the top to let the steam escape. Brush the top with a little melted butter.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and bake for 40 minutes. Have the strudel either warm or cold
How long can you store the strudel?
Keep it in an airtight container for no more than 2-or 3 days: it will still be crunchy.
If you don’t like apples, here are some options:
Use fruit such as cherries, peaches, blueberries or strawberries. They will be delicious as well. Follow the same easy method; season the fruit with organic lemon juice and flavor the filling with some ginger or fresh mint leaves. Replace the apricot jam with your favorite kind. Remember to serve it warm with ice cream. Yummy!