It's apple season again! And we got a bag full from my mother-in-law directly picked from their garden. The batch she gave us was a bit too tart for just eating but perfect for baking. I was a bit busy the last days but I know I have to do something about all those apples staring (and sometimes glaring) at me every time I pass by or happen to be in our kitchen. So I thought why not make Apfelstrudel! It is easy and can be done really quickly especially if you have a roll of puff pastry sheet (Blätterteig in German) lying around in your fridge like I did, lucky me. I have to confess though that I didn't make the puff pastry myself...tsk!tsk!tsk! well, I was busy and to tell the truth, making puff pastry is not one of my strong suits...I tried it several times and all I can say at the moment is that I am getting there, only (I think) I lack the patience puff pastry deserves and another thing is, it is really cheap to buy the ready-made one (€0.69 per sheet) and easily available at the groceries around here in Germany. I didn't buy them before because Armin says it is like I am cheating, well he can try making one and tell me then! (He!he! luv you honey!)
Anyway, back to the subject, Apfelstrudel or apple strudel is one of the most popular desserts in Germany. Although the word 'strudel' which means 'whirlpool' is Germanic, the dessert itself originates from Austria. The original version uses strudel dough, which is a thin, elastic, unleavened dough that is really difficult to make. The whirlpool or strudel is formed when the sheet of dough, with the apples spread on top, is rolled into a log and cut into smaller size after baking.
For this recipe though, I used puff pastry (for the reasons I already mentioned above) and it is not rolled like a strudel rather braided, just because I saw these post in Pinterest about the different ways of folding pastries which looks really cool and I wanted to try them myself...exciting!
Apfelstrudel (Apple Strudel)
- 2 apples - peeled and cut into slices
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup dried apricots (optional) - cut into small cubes
- ½ cup almond flakes or any chopped nuts
- 1 sheet ready made puff pastry
- 1 egg white - for brushing
- Preheat oven to 400°F/ 200°C.
- Unfold the puff pastry sheet onto a parchment paper. On the long side, fold both sides towards the middle until they overlap each other at about 4 cm. Press a bit at the folds just to create a crease, then unfold to original shape. From the crease cut diagonal slits going out the side's edges about 1 inch apart and do the same on the other side. Cut and remove the top and bottom 2 leaves. Set aside for a while.
- Combine sugar and cinnamon powder in a deep bowl. Add the apple slices, raisins and apricots and mix well until all are coated.
- Beat the egg white until a bit frothy. Brush the puff pastry sheet with egg white. Sprinkle the middle part of the pastry with almond flakes evenly. Spread the apples over the almond flakes. Be sure not the go over the crease and leave an inch at the top and bottom uncovered. Fold the top over the apples, fold the leaves over the apples from one side and then the other to form the braid. Fold the bottom over the last leaves to finish.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.