With all of Artisan’s puff pastry in the freezer, it was inevitable that at least one apple strudel would be attempted in the Marketman household. I have never been a huge fan of strudel’s, despite my love for apple pies, but maybe I haven’t had a REALLY GOOD STRUDEL yet. I did work briefly on a project in Vienna many eons ago, and over a few weeks or so I tried several pastry shops in the city, but I can’t recall any truly memorable strudels. A strudel pastry is not actually a puff pastry, but it does trace it’s roots back to say a Turkish baklava phyllo style pastry… So phyllo is often suggested as the alternative pastry to use. Phyllo results in a lighter, airier pastry but still not quite the original strudel as the Viennese might describe it. I suppose a puff pastry is a serious departure from the original, but this was shortcut morning and was pressed to make use of an abundance of puff…
I didn’t really use a recipe, so I won’t detail specific measurements here. I took say 3 small to medium sized granny smith apples and peeled, cored and sliced them thinly. Place the apples in a bowl, and toss with a couple of tablespoons of sugar (or more), some salt, cinnamon, golden raisins, a bit of flour. I was tempted to heat this for a few minutes on top of the stove just to melt the sugar and mix up the juices, but we were in shortcut mode so I didn’t bother. I regretted this later.
I briefly thawed a sheet of puff pastry, rolled it out a bit more with a wooden rolling pin. I spread the apple mixture on about one half of the dough, with the width of the pastry facing me, not the length of the pastry. Leave about an inch of pastry clear around the edges. Brush the edges with egg wash and carefully roll up the pastry from the edge nearest you, and make sure the seam is under the rolled pastry and sitting on the pan. Tuck in the edges so the apples don’t ooze out. Use a silpat mat or baking paper to line your pan. Brush the surface of the roll with egg and place in a hot oven for say 30-40 minutes or until it gets a nice golden brown color.
Let the strudel cool and serve sprinkled with powdered sugar if desired. Vanilla ice cream or some whipped cream would be nice. As you can see from these photos, it looked pretty good, but the apples weren’t quite cooked enough. And the pastry, while good, wasn’t the texture that a hard core strudel might possess. I’m not sure if it’s the odd ratio of filling to pastry that makes this less appealing for me than say an apple pie, but I haven’t made this in at least ten years and it’s not likely I will do so for another ten more… :(