Friday, April 10, 2009

Apple Strudel

I learned to make strudel with Caroline, an Austrian that I met when I was living in Brazil. We (children #1 and #2 and me) had a great time learning. You have to smash the dough against the kitchen counter and the children had a blast when we did and by doing it themselves.
Strudel dough has to be very fine, so much that you have to be able to read the paper through it. There lays this dessert's difficulty. Caroline certainly mastered it, you could see she had practice. To obtain a very streching dough, you add some vinegar. The acid makes the wheat gluten develop better.

Apple Strudel

10 servings

  • 250 gr. flour
  • 1 generous pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter
  • 125 ml. water, tepid
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 120 gr. butter
  • 100 gr. breadcrumbs
  • 100 gr. raisins
  • a handful walnuts, chopped
  • 1.250 gr. apples
  • 1/2 juice of a lemon
  • 125 gr. sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  1. To make the dough, put flour in a bowl, add salt, tepid water, grease (oil or butter) and vinegar. Form a ball with it all and knead energically for at least half an hour. Afterwards, smash the dough ball against the kitchen counter a couple of times. Dough is ready when cutting through it you don't see any air bubbles or wheat traces. When it reaches this state, make a dough ball again. Boil some water in a saucepan, discard it, dry the saucepan and put it upside down over the dough, so it becomes elastic. Let it rest about half an hour.
  2. While dough is resting, let's make the filling. Pill and chop the apples. Sprinkle the lemon juice over them and set aside.
  3. Melt 30 gr. butter in a skillet and brown breadcrumbs in it stirring constantly. Remove from stove and let it cool down.
  4. In a bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
  5. Let's roll out the dough. Take a big kitchen cloth or better still a small table cloth and put it on the kitchen counter. Sprinkle with flour and your hands too.
  6. Roll out the dough on the table cloth with the roller, as much as you can. Then, with the palm of your hands upside down strech dough out carefully until it becomes very fine and you can see the tablecloth beneath. Don't strech with your fingers, but with the upper side of your hand, because the dough could break.
  7. Brush dough with 30 gr. melted butter leaving about 4 cm. rim all around.
  8. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on the brushed area.
  9. Mix chopped apples with raisins and nuts and sprinkle them over the breadcrumbs.
  10. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over everything.
  11. To form the strudel, first fould to the inside the short sides dough and press. Then, fould the long side dough over the filling and roll to close the strudel.
  12. Raise strudel with the tablecloth, seizing the tablecloth by the short sides and puting it carefully on a greased baking pan. Brush again with half the rest of the melted butter.
  13. Bake at 250ÂșC in a preheated oven for about 40 to 45 min. when half the cooking time has passed, brush again with the rest of the butter, so it'll get crunchy.
  14. Serve hot with creme anglaise or vanille ice-cream.