Meant to be pronounced with your best Austrian accent…don’t forget to don a fake handle-bar mustache and a funny chef’s toque for dramatic affect…apple strudel (”apple stroooodel”) is a traditional Viennese pastry, which gained in popularity throughout Eastern Europe in the 18th century.
Quite popular in our home, I’ve been threatening to treat Caleb and Sadie to home-baked apple and raisin studded strudel for a week now and had a handful of crisp farmer’s market apples on stand-by. Having made it before, I knew how easy this perfect weekend morning baking activity would be, and the heavenly results it would yield.
As Caleb and I were preparing the strudel and browning walnuts in the toaster oven, I hear “Dude, the walnuts are burning!” They weren’t actually burning, but more than anything else, I was taken aback by the fact that my little baby, my first-born child is now calling me “dude!” Knowing how often I call him “dude”, this day was bound to arrive. Mateo and I just looked at each other and laughed.
Sadie-bug assisted by standing up on the chair, sautéing the apples. Before long the strudel was prepared, cut into slices and placed onto a cookie sheet. Once in the oven, we could smell heavenly apple and pastry perfume filling the air. Our house smelled like love lives here. Caleb pulled the cookie sheet out and volunteered “yummmmmm!”
Once the strudel cooled down enough, I treated both kiddos to an after breakfast slice. Such happy sounds came out of their mouths, and I stepped back and watched as they stuffed their faces full of strudel, then sweetly fed each other the last crumbs of pastry from their plates. It was clear to me that our easy apple strudel recipe was a hit. Mateo and I each took a bite and emitted happy sounds as well. Love most definitely lives here…you can smell it, you can taste it, and you can see it.
Easy Apple Strudel
This is our original recipe. Follow it exactly, or use your good instincts to make it your own. We hope you enjoy the delicious results as much as we did. Very easy to follow and yields about 20 apple strudel slices. Bon appétit!
1 box (2 sheets) puffed pastry, defrosted to room temperature
6 apples (any type), peeled and sliced thin – Cuisinart can be used
4 TB unsalted butter
1 C raisins
1 pinch salt
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp vanilla
3 TB brown sugar
¾ cup of finely chopped walnuts, lightly toasted in oven
1 egg, whisk in ramekin w/ fork for egg wash
Preheat oven to 375F, with rack in middle of oven. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large sauté pan, melt butter, then add thinly sliced apple. Sauté for about 3 minutes, then add raisins, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and brown sugar. Cook for about 2 more minutes until just softened, then remove from heat.
Unfold thawed pastry onto a working mat and spoon about half of the slightly cooled apple mixture over ¾ of the pastry, leaving an empty lip at the far end. Sprinkle a handful of the toasted walnuts over the mixture. Lightly brush egg wash onto the lip of pastry, then roll until sealed. Repeat with 2nd pastry sheet, and then brush both with egg wash. With a sharp knife, cut about 20, ½ inch slices of strudel and lay on baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Brush tops w/ egg wash. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown, and then remove from oven. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or on its own with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.