Cookbook:Apple Strudel

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Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes | Austrian Cuisine

Apple Strudel

History

The apple strudel is said to be a famous Viennese dish. It is true that it gained international success via the Viennese cuisine, but the origin of the apple strudel is to be found in what was known as "the Orient". When the Turks occupied Hungary (among other Middle-European countries), the Hungarians got to know the strudel which then, thanks to the high percentage of gluten starch in the Hungarian wheat flour, became quite popular in Hungary. From there the strudel found its way into the Viennese cuisine and later on conquered the whole Austrian-Hungarian monarchy. Already in 1696, a recipe of a so called milk-cream-strudel existed. In 1715, the strudel was described as a spiral wound flummery. This leads to the assumption that the word “strudel” derives from its shape, which reminds of a water vortex

However, the Viennese strudel recipes are, to some extent, of Moorish-Spanish origin as well. The Moors brought their pastry recipe to Spain and to the South of France. In both countries their recipes can be traced back to the 17th and 18th century.

Until the second half of the 19th century, variations developed with a great variety of stuffing and the strudel established itself in the Austrian cuisine. From 1800 onwards, many types of strudels were created, such as apple strudel, almond strudel, semolina strudel, rice strudel, quark strudel, milk-cream-strudel, grape strudel, poppy strudel, nut strudel, cabbage strudel, meat strudel, damson strudel, cherry strudel, pear strudel, apricot strudel, ham strudel, coffee strudel, Parmesan strudel, roll strudel, mushroom strudel, herb strudel, cinnamon strudel, and the Hungarian strudel, which is called rétes.

These variants are more common in the foothills of the Alps than in the Alps, people living in the mountains usually prefer fritter and substantial meals. Generally, it can be said that for the Austrian apple strudel it is important to choose green or tartish apples that are firm and not overripe. If the apples are too sour, just add some more sugar. For the apple strudel of the old-Viennese style, 1/4l of sour cream, or slightly whipped cream, and 80g coarsely cut nuts are added to the original recipe before the strudel is rolled up. For the apple strudel of Salzburg's cuisine, some sugared milk is poured over the stuffing in order to keep the strudel juicy. Each variation of an apple strudel, or a strudel in general, can be served as a main dish or a dessert. Whether it is eaten warm or cold, it always has a delicious taste!

On this page you will find the recipe for the dough and as well as the stuffing. The dough should be soft and smooth when it comes to stretching it. In former years, there was the saying that a woman is not mature until she is able to make a strudel dough thin enough to read a newspaper through it.

Apple Strudel
Category main course/dessert
Servings 8-12
Time prep: 45 min, cooking: 35 min
Difficulty Medium

Ingredients for the dough

200g flour
1/16l luke-warm water (near "hot" is better than near "cold")
20g oil
salt

Directions for the dough

  • put the flour on a (wooden) board
  • salt the flour a bit
  • form a hole in its middle
  • fill in very little water and oil (be careful not to take too much liquid at once!)
  • cover the liquid with some flour (to take it from the side might cause a leak)
  • knead the mixture a bit
  • form another hole, add liquids, cover them and knead it again, repeat this procedure until there is no liquid left
  • knead the mixture until it is smooth and does not stick to the hands or the board anymore
  • powder a slightly warmed bowl (this dough does not like to get cold!)
  • grease the dough with oil (so it cannot build a skin)
  • put it into the bowl
  • cover the bowl with a damp dish cloth (but the cloth should not touch the dough!)
  • let it rest for 30 minutes (prepare the stuffing in the meantime)
  • powder a cloth with flour (e.g. a sheet)
  • put the dough on it and tumble it
  • powder your hands
  • put one hand underneath the dough (the back of your hand faces upwards, spread your fingers - take care that your finger nails do not tear the dough!), with the other hand you carefully pull the dough from the middle towards the table-edge until it is "as thin as paper"
  • cut the thicker edges off
  • now put the stuffing on the dough which you have prepared before

Ingredients for the stuffing

1,50kg apples
40g butter
80g breadcrumbs
100g sugar
cinnamon (add it to the sugar)
60g raisins
60g nuts (if you like)
80g butter
powdered sugar

Directions for the stuffing

  • heat breadcrumbs until they are light brown
  • peal the apples and cut them into slices
  • put the breadcrumbs on 2/3 of the dough - leave out the 1/3 which will be rolled in at last
  • put the apple slices on top of them
  • spice with sugar, cinnamon and raisins (and nuts, if you want to add some)
  • paste the fat on the other 1/3 of the dough which you have prepared before
  • turn the sides up (where the ends of the strudel will be)
  • turn up the side that is covered with the stuffing
  • now grasp the cloth and pull it up (to roll the strudel up)
  • then paste fat onto the dough (do not forget the two ends)
  • put it into the pre-heated oven (180°) for 35 minutes
  • do not forget to paste fat onto the dough two or three times during the first 15 minutes of cooking (otherwise it will not take on that golden brown colour)
  • when it is ready, take it out of the oven and let it cool down for a few minutes
  • finally, put a portion on a plate, powder it with sugar and serve it

Sources:

Maier-Bruck, Franz. Das Große Sacher Kochbuch: Die österreichische Küche. Schuler, 1975, 491-494.

Mörwald, Toni, Christoph Wagner. Die Süße Küche: Das österreichische Mehlspeiskochbuch. St. Pölten/Wien/Linz: NP Buchverlag, 2003, 16.