One of the pastries which excites me (besides all the “new” techniques like desserts which incorporate speriphifcations this and emulsifications that) is a perfectly made apple strudel. I still remember today eating strudel at my Grandmother’s house
which she pulled by hand like you see sometimes pizza makers, widening the dough in the air to get a paper thin crust. It’s not usually made that way in America often store bought phyllo dough sheets fill in for the original hand crafted dough.
I make it like my Grandmother did:
I use apples from the Green Market and I always make sure I have Granny Smith apples for acidity and Macintosh for their full round flavor and then I select 3-4 baking apples that the farmers have on the particular day. First I peel them and dice them in half inch cubes and discard the core. I sauté the apples using a bit of neutral flavored vegetable oil on medium heat with a sprinkling of sugar.
Once the apples have a light brown color I place them in a hermetically sealed container so they steam in their own environment until they cool. Meanwhile I make the dough by mixing flour and water with a pinch of salt in a mixer using the dough attachment for about a minute, and then I sprinkle the oil in and work the dough for another minute. At this point I transfer the dough to a flour dusted flat surface and work the dough with my own hands to a round ball measuring about six inches. The dough is rested in a bowl and covered with saran wrap for about twenty minutes.
Meanwhile toss a little ground cinnamon under the cooked apples. Once the dough has rested I spread a table cloth over a 24” x 24” table making sure the cloth overlaps the edges on each side. I dust the cloth with a little flour and place the dough in the middle of the table and roll with a rolling pin to a flat disk, next I put my hands under the dough and start pulling the dough and rotating it making sure not to make any holes into the dough as it stretches in its own weight.
Once I have a stretched enough piece of dough on my hands I drape it almost like a blanket over the flour dusted table making sure the edges of the stretched dough are pulled over the four corners of the table. I brush the dough with melted butter and sprinkle finely ground almonds or crumbled cookies over the dough. Standing on one side of the table I place the cooked, cooled apples from left to right closest to me on the dough before I start rolling the strudel I take a knife and cut the thick outer edge of the dough closest to me then I grasp the two tablecloth corners and start rolling up the strudel until there is no more dough left on the table. I cut the thick dough edges off and transfer the strudel onto a baking paper lined sheet pan and brush it with butter and egg yolk. I bake the strudel in a 360°F hot convection oven for about twenty minutes until golden in color. When the strudel has cooled for about fifteen minutes I cut about four inch long pieces for a portion and dust each piece individually with powdered sugar.
Various garnishes like apple sauce, lingonberries and of course schlag accompany my strudel.
(two dough balls making two strudel)
- Flour - 600 grams
- Canola oil - 45 grams
- Water (room temperature) - 300 grams
- Salt - 1/4 teaspoon
(two strudel fillings)
- Cinnamon (ground) - 1/4 teaspoons
- Mixed baking apples - 2200 grams
- Sugar - 200 grams
- Finely ground almonds - 100 grams
- Melted buttere - 100 grams
- Egg - 1 piece