Recipe: Apple Strudel

By Ruth Foulds, April 8, 2010

My mother, Jessie, used to make large batches of strudel and would often give one or two of these sweet, fragrant pastries as a gift to family and friends. When I decided to attempt strudel making myself, I opted for my mother's choice of puff pastry rolled extremely thin as the casing. I looked through cookery books to guide the composition of the filling and chose that prescribed by Claudia Roden in The Book of Jewish Food and, while I have now modified the components of that filling, the proportions remain the same. Below is the recipe I use - with my thanks to my mother and to Claudia.

Makes four strudels

● 300g (12 oz) ready made puff pastry (8 inch width of ready rolled)
● Flour for rolling out pastry
● 500g (1lb) of sharp eating apples eg Granny Smiths
● 500g (1lb) of sweet eating apples eg Gala
● Juice of 1 lemon
● 60g (2½ oz) caster sugar
● 75g (3 oz) mixed chopped nuts
● 25g (1 oz) toasted chopped hazelnuts
● 40g (1½ oz) sultanas or raisins
● 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
● 75g (3 oz) dry, fine challah breadcrumbs – use 2, or 3 day old challah, discard crusts and whizz to crumbs in a food processor
● 1 beaten egg (for egg wash)

● You will need two baking trays, rinsed in cold water, with a trace of water left on.
● Preheat oven to 230°C (220°C fan oven/ 450°F/ Gas Mark 8).
● Squeeze lemon juice into a bowl. Peel, core and chop apples into small pieces and add to lemon juice, turn over thoroughly, then add the other filling ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
● Cut the pastry into 4 equal pieces. Take one piece at a time and roll out into a rectangle about 10 inches by 12 inches.
● You will need to use flour shaken onto the board, rolling pin and pastry to stop it from sticking.
● Put a quarter of the filling into the centre area of the pastry and with hands, arrange as a column down the middle of the pastry.
● Flip over one side, damp with water and flip over the other side and press so the pastry is securely sealed.
● Now turn in the spare pastry at top and bottom. Slip the palette knife under the strudel and turn over onto the baking sheet.
● Place 2 strudels on each sheet. Brush with beaten egg and make a few small slits in pastry.
● Bake for 30 minutes.
● Best served warm with shake of icing sugar on top and ice-cream.
● If using strudels from cold, reheat by placing into a hot oven for about 10 minutes.
● These freeze well – just wrap each cold strudel in foil.

Last updated: 11:19am, April 8 2010