It is my little tradition to treat myself to Apple Strudel after a few hours of skiing, when we have a break somewhere on top of a mountain in South Tirol. Since Apfelstrudel comes from that part of Europe, I know I am likely to get the best: wonderful apple filling surrounded by thin pastry. It takes a long time to make dough for the strudel as it has to be very elastic so it can be rolled and stretched really thinly: I have heard you should be able to read a newspaper through it.
I am sure one day I will approach the original recipe but for now I wanted to make a simplified version so I decided to use filo pastry instead. It is also extremely thin and additionally – it gives a bit of a crunch to the strudel. In my version, I replaced breadcrumbs with Amaretti biscuits to enrich the strudel with a nice almond taste; I also soaked raisins in rum for a more adult version. And to make the dessert even boozier, I served it with a whipped cream combined with a bit more of rum. Obviously alcohol doesn't have to be added but on cold winter days, it does warm you up even if you are not on a ski slope!
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- <div class=”nobullets”>Strudel:</div>
- 50g raisins,
- 2 tbsp rum,
- 500g apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped into approx. 2cm pieces,
- 40g Demerara sugar (plus extra for sprinkling the strudel),
- 1.5 tsp cinnamon (plus extra for sprinkling the strudel),
- 70g Amaretti biscuits, crushed,
- 3-6 sheets of filo pastry (depending on size),
- 50g melted butter.
- <div class=”nobullets”>Sauce:</div>
- 300ml whipping cream,
- 1.5 tbsp icing sugar,
- 3 tbsp rum.
- Soak the raisins in the rum for at least 15 minutes.
- Preheat a fan oven to 170 Celsius degrees.
- In a big bowl mix together the apples, sugar, cinnamon, raisins (don’t add rum if any left as it may make the strudel soggy) and the crushed Amaretti.
- Prepare the filo pastry. If the sheets are big (approx. 40cm x 30cm), place one on a baking tray covered with baking paper and brush it with melted butter. Put another sheet of filo pastry on top and again – brush with melted butter. Repeat till you have used all 3 sheets. If the sheets are smaller, put two of them overlapping each other to get the required size and follow the above instructions to get 3 layers of pastry.
- Place the apple mixture on one third of the prepared pastry leaving 5 cm out on the 3 sides (similarly to 3 Layered Salmon Strudel – please watch a video for details).
- Rise up onto the filling the shorter sides of the pastry and the long side that is close to you. Press it gently so it stays on the filling and brush with the melted butter. Now roll up the strudel from the filling end into a cylindrical shape making sure the ending is at the bottom of the strudel. If you prefer not to have too many layers of the pastry on the endings, please watch the video.
- Brush the strudel with the rest of melted butter; sprinkle the top with a bit of extra cinnamon and Demerara sugar and put to the oven for 30-35 minutes.
- Serve it with the sauce prepared by whipping the cream and mixing it with sugar and rum.