Apple strudelSubscribe to Sainsbury's magazine
This recipe comes from our food assistant Ailsa's mum. Ailsa says: ‘Growing up in Vienna meant that my mum and I would often spend winter afternoons upstairs in Demel coffee house, warming up with plates of apfelstrudel. Eventually, my mum decided that she had to learn to make it herself, and with the advice of lots of Austrian omas (grandmas – the gurus of baking!), she started baking it – and I was lucky enough to sample every version along the way. Mum would make this on a Sunday, and it would be pudding for the week, if my dad didn’t devour all of it that night...’
For the pastry:
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra to grease
- 1 large egg
- 250g plain flour, plus extra to dust
- ½ tsp fine salt
For the filling
- 100g raisins
- 3 tbsp golden rum
- 70g unsalted butter
- 60g natural fine dried breadcrumbs
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 125g caster sugar
- 750g Braeburn apples
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the oil, egg and 5 tablespoons of lukewarm water. Add the flour and salt, and bring together with a spoon. Tip onto a very lightly floured surface and knead together. If you find it is sticking to your hands too much, lightly oil your hands. You can either knead it by hand for 10 minutes, or in a stand mixer for about 5 minutes on a low speed. You want it to be quite elastic.
- A little bit of elbow grease comes in handy here! Slam the dough onto the work surface a few times, quickly scooping it up and slapping it down again. Put in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave to rest for 30 minutes to an hour.
- While the dough is resting, mix together the raisins and rum and set aside to steep. In a wide frying pan, melt 40g butter. Once bubbling, add the breadcrumbs and toast until golden. Remove from the heat, tip into a bowl and add the lemon zest, cinnamon and sugar. Give it a really good stir, then leave to one side. Peel, core and slice the apples into 5mm slices, then toss with the lemon juice in a bowl, and put to one side.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. Lightly flour a large tea towel (or my mum uses a tablecloth!), rubbing the flour over it with your hands to spread it evenly. Tip the rested dough out onto the tea towel, and roll it out gently into a rectangle to get started. Now, lightly dust your hands with flour and lift up the dough, gently shaking it out. Hold up an edge and gradually stretch it out, using your hands and arms to keep the dough from sticking together. Be careful not to pull too hard or vigorously, as you want to avoid holes (but it’s not a disaster if there are a few small ones). Once it’s stretched out as thinly as you can manage, about 35cm x 50cm, return it to the floured tea towel and use your hands to gently pull out the thicker edges. Turn it, if necessary, so that one of the long sides is towards you.
- Melt the remaining 30g butter, and brush over the dough, reserving a bit for brushing over the top. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture in an even layer over about two-thirds of the pastry, towards the nearest edge, then add the apples and drained raisins on top of the crumbs, leaving about 5cm of pastry free at either side. Trim off the thick edges of pastry, and fold in both sides over the apple filling. Using the tea towel, roll the strudel over and over to wrap the filling within layers of pastry, then roll the strudel onto a lined baking sheet, making sure that the seam is on the bottom. Lightly brush the top with the remaining melted butter and put on the middle shelf in the oven.
- Cook for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Leave on the baking sheet to cool slightly, then cut into thick slices. Generously dust with icing sugar and serve warm with whipped cream.
Tip If you want to use ready-made filo pastry instead, lay out enough sheets to form a 35cm x 50cm rectangle, brushing with melted butter as you go, and overlapping each sheet by about 3cm. The texture will be crisper and more brittle than an authentic strudel.