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Apple Strudel

Made popular in the 1700s by the Hapsburg Empire, today apple strudel is considered the national dish of Austria. The oldest strudel recipe on record, handwritten in 1696, can be found at the Viennese City Library.

Vienna Apple Strudel

Ingredients

Pastry:

  • ¼ C plus 1½ T (80 ml) warm water
  • 1¾ T (26 ml) sunflower oil, plus extra for bowl
  • ½ tsp (2.5 ml) vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp (.6 g) salt
  • 1 C plus 2½ T (145 g) flour, plus extra for dusting

Filling:

  • 1/2 C (96 g) sugar
  • 1/4 C (30 g) walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/3 C (55 g) raisins
  • 1/2 tsp (1½ g) lemon zest
  • 1 tsp (2 g) cinnamon
  • 2 or 3 Pippin or Granny Smith apples (approx 3 C [1/2 kg] chopped)
  • 2 T (29 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 T (2 g) breadcrumbs

Directions

Combine water, oil, vinegar and salt in a large bowl. Mix in half of the flour with a spoon. Mix in remaining flour, first with a spoon, then with your hands. When dough becomes a smooth ball, transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead vigorously for 10 minutes, slapping onto the surface every now and then. Dough should be moist but not sticky; add flour as needed.

Rinse a large bowl with warm water; dry and coat with oil. Form dough into a smooth, round ball and place in bowl, coating surface of dough with oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour at room temperature (or refrigerate for up to 3 days, bringing up to room temperature before proceeding with recipe.)

Punch air out of dough and transfer to a clean, floured kitchen towel. Lightly dust top with flour and roll out to about 14x17 inches (35x35 cm). Pinch any tears in the dough to seal. Dough will be quite thin; don’t overhandle. Keeping dough on towel; set aside.

Place sugar, walnuts, raisins, lemon zest and cinnamon in a medium bowl, stirring to combine. Peel, core and chop apples into small chunks. Add to bowl and toss to combine.

Lightly brush dough with melted butter. Sprinkle with dry breadcrumbs. Add apple mixture down center of dough leaving a 1-inch (2-cm) margin around the filling. Fold in 1 inch (2 cm) along 3 sides of dough, leaving one long side unfolded. Moisten all edges lightly with water. Using towel to assist you, roll dough toward unfolded edge to enclose filling. Press gently along seam and sides to seal.

Using towel as a sling, transfer strudel seam-side down to a cookie sheet. Gently remove towel. Brush lightly with remaining butter. Prick sparingly along top with a fork. Bake about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Cut crosswise into 12 pieces.

  • Prep time: 2 hours.
  • Cook time: 30 minutes.
  • Makes 12 servings.