Most people connect Apple Strudel (Apfelstrudel) with Austria or Vienna but its real roots seem to be in Arabia from where it spread to Egypt, then Constantinople (today Istanbul, Turkey). It might be a culinary relative of Baklava. From there it was just a short way to Hungary and then to Vienna. Since the Austrian monarchy ruled a large area and borders used to expand or shrink every now and then, it is not surprising that the entire area of Bavaria is as connected to Apple Strudel as Vienna. It is not only served at the Oktoberfest but year-round a delicacy in Bavarian cafes.
The apple slicer: https://amzn.to/2LS9H2I
Often, people use puff pastry or filo dough instead of a strudel dough to make apple strudel. It is faster and also, many people are worried about stretching the dough. But filo and puff pastry taste different and in my experience the apple strudel easily dries out with it. The original strudel dough though, keeps the strudel moist and nice and is also less messy to eat.
Stretching the Strudel Dough
At first, I was worried about doing this, too. But know, if you knead the dough long enough, let it rest long enough and roll it well from the center to the rims, then you will succeed and even have fun while doing it. It is all about the elasticity and I have talked about that in other recipes with dough. If you knead dough long enough, the gluten becomes active and gives the dough it’s elasticity. The resting helps it to keep its shape and not bounce back when you stretch it. In the video I also show you the correct hand technique with the fingers pointing down and letting the dough glide over the back of your hands.
The Different Fillings
Most of the time a strudel is filled with apples, often also with some raisins in between. But there is also something called “Topfen Strudel” and the word “Topfen” is the Austrian word for Quark. This filling is my personal favorite and I will add the recipe for this filling at the end of this page.
Other fillings can be vegetables like brussel sprouts or spinach, kale, cabbage or with ground meat.
When making Apple Strudel, you can also add some walnuts to the filling.
Serving Apple Strudel
Fresh from the oven it’s nice and warm and great for serving. Add some vanilla sauce or even better: vanilla ice cream and some whipped cream. My personal experience is though, that it tastes even better if you give it a day or more in the fridge and then reheat a slice for some seconds in the microwave and then serve it with vanilla ice. The dough becomes softer in the fridge and this somehow adds to the delicious taste.
When we love Apple Strudel the most
It is great on any day but especially on a cold winter day. Think Christmas! Or how about you have some Apple Strudel for Thanksgiving instead of an apple pie? Shaking it up a little.
If you like to go skiing, this is what you can order in the Alpes in those cozy huts where you can take a break and get warm again. There is probably no place where apple strudel tastes better than there.
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Apple Strudel (Apfelstrudel)
For the dough
- 400 g Flour
- 1 pinch Salt
- 3 Tbsp. Oil (i.e. vegetable oil, suflower oil)
- 1 Egg
- 150 ml Water
For the Filling
- 800 g Apples
- some Raisins (optional), soaked in apple juice or rum
- ½ Lemon (juice of it)
- ½ tsp Cinnamon
- 120 g Sugar
- 50 g Bread Crumbs
- 50 g Butter to fry bread crumbs
- 50 g Butter or Oil to brush onto the strudel
- some Confectioners Sugar
- If you want to use raisins in your Apfel Strudel, you need to soak them in 50 ml of apple juice or in some rum. If you don't have either, water will do, too.
- Prepare the dough by adding all ingredients into a large bowl.
- Knead for at least 5 minutes to give the dough enough elasticity.
- Put a little bit of oil into a smaller bowl, turn the dough in the oil to cover it, then put into the fridge to rest at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile prepare the apples: Remove the skin and apple cores.
- Cut the apples into small pieces.
- Squeeze the lemon and pour the juice into a bowl with the apple pieces.
- Add the sugar and Cinnamon to the apples and stir well, then set aside.
- Melt 50 g of butter in a pan and add the bread crumbs.
- Roast the bread crumbs for a little bit.
- When the dough has rested at least 30 minutes, it's time to roll it out. For that you put a clean kitchen towel onto the counter and sprinkle it with flour.
- Roll the dough on the towel, always rolling from the center to the edges.
- When you have rolled the dough as thin as possible, use your hands: With the back of the hands, move under the dough and pull it out (watch video!).
- Once the dough is very thin, melt some more butter and brush it onto the entire dough.
- Optional: cut of thicker edged of the dough.
- Now, add the roasted bread crumbs and spread them evenly onto the dough, leaving some space to the edges.
- Add the Apple slices, place them evenly onto the dough.
- If you have raisins: Remove them from the liquid, squeeze them a little, then place them evenly between the apple pieces.
- With the help of the towel, flip the sides of the dough inwards (see video).
- Starting from one end, lift the towel to slowly roll the strudel towards the other end.
- Place the strudel seam down on a baking sheet and brush with some melted butter.
- Bake in the oven at 190°C / 375°F for about 20 – 25 minutes.
- Finish with a thin layer of sprinkled confectioners sugar.
- Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or cold with vanilla sauce and whipping cream.
Quark Filling for Quark Strudel
- 250 g Quark (see recipe on blog)
- 3 Tbsp. Sugar
- some Vanilla Extract
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 2 +1/2 Tbsp. Corn Starch
- some fruits (optional) like cherries, cut peaches …
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Spread the Quark filling onto the rolled out strudel dough.
- Roll and continue like in the recipe above.