Apple Strudel... Oh, this has got to be my new favorite apple dessert! Had so much fun making it. Not a very complicated recipe at all, doesn't take all day... and can easily be made on a weeknight for a delicious dessert. Fancy enough for guests. And you really don't need a ton of ingredients. Plus, you have the option to make just a few portions... as a tasting menu.
Actually you can make a large batch if you like.... just make more apple filling and use more sheets. You can also make a larger batch of the apple filling... then use some of it, and store the rest for another time. I often do that.
The apple strudels are so classic, and yet pretty simple to prepare... well, as long as you use store-bought phyllo sheets. It's been quite a while since I've been contemplating making my own phyllo dough sheets from scratch. Made it once... but a smaller version. Yet, when time is valuable, the store-bought phyllo sheets work just as well. They are a life-saver:)...
While a normal strudel uses some toasted and seasoned breadcrumbs in between the phyllo sheets, I chose to use some finely ground almonds instead. Loved the nuttiness. Sort of brings in the idea of a baklava... paired with an apple pie. And while I've been making apple turnovers using phyllo dough(and still love them!) for some time, I rather like the simplicity of the apple strudel version. It just comes together quicker. There's no need to fold each individual turnover. And because the apple filling gets cooked down quite a bit, the strudel slices stay crisp even into the next day. Loved that about them... great make-ahead sort of dessert. Hope you enjoy...
Note: The amounts I listed just made enough filling for my 13x9 inch phyllo sheets. I know other stores sell larger phyllo sheets... so you may need to adjust amount of filling and ground nut mixture/spices to compensate.
Tip: Feel free to make the filling your own... try adding some other type of fruit to the filling. I've heard crushed pineapple works well. You can even cut down the sugar and add some raisins/currants/dried cranberries, etc.
You will need: makes a smallish amount of strudels... about 6-7 (2 inch) pieces... but you can always double or triple the recipe.
- 2 medium granny smith apples(about 2 cups(250g) grated)
- 2 TBS butter
- 2-4 TBS sugar
- 1 tsp lemon peel
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsps lemon juice
- 6 phyllo dough sheets(13x9 inches)
- 6 TBS finely ground almonds
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- 2-3 TBS melted butter(or half butter half oil)
- icing sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degF.
1. Peel and grate apples.
2. In a medium saucepan, add grated apples, 2 TBS butter, cinnamon, lemon peel, lemon juice sugar... Sugar amount depends on how sweet or tart your apples are. I like to add less and adjust at the end if need be.
3. Cook on medium heat stirring every so often until apple thickens(mixture clumps up and no liquid is seen)... about 20 -30 minutes depending on apples. Mine were quite juicy.
4. Stir in vanilla, remove from heat and set aside to cool.
5. Grind about 1/3 cup of raw almonds finely and measure out 6 TBS (or use 6 TBS store-bought almond meal). Add 1/4 tsp cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg. Mix to combine.
6. Melt butter( stir in oil, if you are using half butter/half oil).
7. Using a pastry brush, butter one sheet well. Sprinkle some of the almond mixture(about 1 slightly rounded tablespoon) over the entire surface. Add a second sheet of buttered phyllo dough and sprinkle with another TBS of almond mixture. Repeat until all 6 sheets have been used.
8. Place apple filling in a strip along the long side of the phyllo sheets. Roll up jelly-style. Place the strudel unto a baking sheet and butter the top as well.
9. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until nicely golden brown.
10. Cool slightly and sprinkle with powdered sugar... using a sharp serrated knife, cut 2 inch portions on a bias(be gentle). Serve with ice cream or without.