Archive | January, 2011

Apple Strudel

13 Jan

 

Oh — strudel, strudel, strudel,
I made you out of dough
And when you’re baked and ready
In my tummy you’ll go

I’m not kidding, that’s exactly what came into my head as I put my apple strudel into the oven. I crack myself up sometimes! But seriously, if you’ve ever had apple strudel, you know it’s frickin’ delicious! And you know what? It’s pretty easy to make, too.

For those of you who followed the show Top Chef: Just Desserts, you may remember the quick-fire challenge that involved the two competing groups having to pull strudel dough as fast as they could without tearing it. It’s like that, but without the pressure of the clock, or judgment from teammates if you tear a hole or two. Really, it’s not that bad at all.

To make the dough, what you need is a big table, a clean tablecloth that you don’t mind getting oil stains on and your knuckles. I did my best to provide directions below. If you’d like detailed photos illustrating what the process, however, the bloggers at Chef in You do a fabulous job here.

Anyway, I like to play around with ingredients in the kitchen so I decided to flavor the strudel filling with currants and garam masala, a blend of spices that is commonly found in Indian cuisine. My blend, which I found at a local Indian store down the street, includes coriander, chili, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, amchur, salt, anise, fennel seeds, black pepper, mace and bay leaves. The flavor ended up being more subtle than I intended, so if you’d like more of a spice kick, I’d suggest adding a little more. The strudel dough recipe is from The Pie and Pastry Bible, and is already vegan (score!).

Apple Strudel

Ingredients

Strudel Dough
(from The Pie & Pastry Bible)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tb + 1 tsp vegetable oil
1/3 cup warm water

Apple Filling
1 pound of apples (I used 3 large Granny Smith)
1/4 cup dried currants
2 Tb lemon juice
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Streusel Topping
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

For brushing
1/3 cup refined coconut oil, melted

Directions

For the strudel dough:
Mix ingredients in a stand mixer until thoroughly combined. If needed, add water by the teaspoon. On a floured surface, knead dough for a couple minutes. Lightly oil the dough and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. While your dough is sitting, prepare your filling and streusel topping.

For the apple filling: Peel, core and slice apples into 1/4″ slices. Combine with rest of ingredients in large bowl and toss to evenly distribute ingredients.

For streusel topping: Combine ingredients in a bowl and using your hands, mix ingredients together until they form course crumbs.

Putting it all together: Preheat oven to 400* F and have a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat ready. Spread out a clean tablecloth on your table. Roll out your dough to a large round (how large? I didn’t measure exactly, but so the dough is about 1/4″ thin). Brush the top of your dough with some melted coconut oil to keep it from drying out. Slide your hands under the dough and using your knuckles (not your fingers!), gently pull the dough. Continue to stretch it from every side to a rectangular shape, as thin as you can get it–until it’s almost transparent if you can–while being careful not to tear it. It’s OK if there are a few small holes, but you don’t want too many because the filling will poke through. When you’ve stretched it as far as you can, using your brush, sprinkle some coconut oil across your dough.

Next, leaving a few inches around the edges, sprinkle your streusel topping  across your dough. On one of the short sides of the rectangle–again leaving a few inches around the edges–spread your apple filling in a thick layer. Now, using the tablecloth, flip the edge of the dough over the apple filling layer. Lightly brush the layer with oil. Flip the strudel over itself again and oil the next layer. Repeat until you get to the end of the dough. Brush the ends of the dough with oil and tuck under the roll. Brush the top and sides of the strudel with more oil and top with brown sugar. Cut a few steam vents in the roll. Transfer to your baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the strudel is a dark golden brown.

Serve warm with ice cream. Yum!