We woke to heavy rain this morning, and I think there is nothing better than having a sleep in listening to the rain outside, which is exactly what I did. As I lay there though, I thought that it was also a perfect day to make the Apple Strudel I’d been thinking about ever since I’d worked with Filo Pastry to make the Baklava earlier this week. If I wanted to make Apple Strudel though, I’d have to brave the weather. Umbrella, raincoat & Blundstone’s, and I was ready to brave the supermarket. I took this to Alberto’s mothers house for dinner, and as she is worse than any Masterchef Judge, I’ll let you know her opinion (which she always tells me in great detail) at the end of the post! The quantities could make one large strudel, but I made two smaller strudels.
* I used Armagnac to soak the sultanas, but you can also use bourbon, or keep it alcohol free… It’s your choice to personalise this recipe. I looked at several, and there weren’t two the same!
*Other recipes used pecans or walnuts (your choice)!
*The Filo Pastry I bought had 7 sheets in the packet measuring 45cm x 34cm. I used one packet for each strudel, utilising all 7 layers/sheets of pastry.
- 1/2 Cup sultanas
- 1/4 apple juice, or Armagnac (which is what I used)
- 30g pine nuts
- 40g pistachio nuts, lightly chopped
- 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
- Juice of half a lemon
- Zest of one lemon
- 100g firmly packed brown sugar (1/2 Cup)
- 4 tablespoons of fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 5 – 7 sheets store bought Filo Pastry (also known as Phyllo)
- 200g melted butter
- 100g fine caster sugar
- icing sugar to serve
- In a microwave proof dish, pour Armagnac over sultanas and microwave on high for 45 seconds. Put aside to cool, allowing sultanas to hydrate & plump up.
- Preheat oven to 180°C
- Add apples to a large bowl with the brown sugar, breadcrumbs, lemon juice and zest, cinnamon, sultanas, pine nuts and pistachio nuts. Combine all ingredients tossing everything together using your hands.
- Remove filo pastry from packet, place on a clean surface and cover with a damp tea towel.
- Place a sheet of baking paper on a flat baking tray. Start by placing the first sheet of filo on the baking paper and using a pastry brush, brush lightly with melted butter. Sprinkle sparingly with the fine caster sugar and then continue like this with remaining filo. Pastry-butter-sugar etc… (As there were 7 layers in the packet I bought, I used them all).
- Place the apple mixture on the pastry, and using the baking paper to assist you, roll the strudel away from you. Tuck in the apple mixture and as you roll, tuck in the sides.
- Transfer to a baking tray lined with baking paper (or use the one you used to roll the strudel). Brush with butter, sprinkle with caster sugar and Bake for 30 minutes or until top is golden. (Some people score the pastry with a sharp knife before it goes into the oven. I did not do this).
Honestly, I think Apple Strudel is best served warm from the oven with good quality vanilla ice cream. I ate my slice with Greek yoghurt which was also delicious. (But only because there was no gelato in the house!)
Now…. if you want to know what the lady next door said, please read on.
- Apples not cooked enough. (I think she would have preferred me to cook them mushy first, and then roll them in the pastry).
- Apples not cut small enough…. An apple strudel should have apples that you can’t really even distinguish as apples apparently.
- Pastry all wrong!
I think that maybe the comments from the lady next door might be a good way to end all my recipe posts actually. What do you think? (Because if I don’t laugh, I might cry!) LOL