My German “Oma”, in fact my partner’s grandmother, was famous for her apple strudel… the creamy, crispy edges, the juicy filling, and the soft strudel dough would make your mouth water. She often made one for us for Sunday lunch, and this was an event to be looked forward to!
The recipe was never written down (there WAS no recipe!), and her instructions were often contradictory… so her secret touch remains elusive. I’ve tried before to make her strudel, and this time it came pretty near… I shall continue to strive to recreate those edges, but in the meantime this one is not only original, but is also an extremely tasty, appley, creamy delight. No soggy pastry, no nuts and raisins, no icing sugar topping or cinnamon flavouring, no custard or ice cream, and hardly any added sugar. No, this is pure strudel!
Here’s the recipe:
For the dough, mix together 350g (2 and 3/4 cups) strong/bread flour, a pinch of salt, 3 tbsps vegetable oil, 125ml (1/2 cup) lukewarm water, and 1 egg. Knead for at least 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Divide into two pieces. Put in a clean bowl, brush with oil, cover, and leave in a warm place to rest for 30 minutes.
For the filling, mix 1kg (2 lbs) aromatic apples, peeled and thinly sliced, with 3 tbsps sugar and 1tsp cornflour.
Preheat the oven to 190°C, and butter a baking dish (36 x 18cm/14 x 7 in). Roll out each piece of dough to a 20cm/8 inch square. On a floured teacloth, continue to roll out the first one as thinly as possible, retaining the rectangular shape as far as possible, to about 45 x 30cm/18 x 12in. Put half the filling on the dough and spread almost to the edges. Brush edges with a little melted butter. Using the teacloth to help, roll up the dough and slide into the dish. Do the same with the second piece of dough, using the teacloth again. Brush with a little oil or melted butter.
Bake for 40-50 minutes… but now comes the most important part… every ten minutes or so, open the oven door and pour over a little cream! (I used 200ml altogether, which is 3/4 to 1 cup.) Don’t forget to breathe in deeply and sigh, each time you open the oven door! It smells so good!