As soon as the new apple crop arrives in come the requests for apple desserts. The request come from friends, readers, and even friends of my friends who have heard of me and my pastries.
Most of the requests are for the apple strudel, and I am not surprised in the least. It certainly is the favorite in our family as well.
Since I now use the packaged strudel dough, the time needed to make an apple strudel is minimal, less than that required for an apple pie and certainly no longer than it takes to make a cake from scratch.
Pacakged strudel dough sheets are available in large supermarkets and in some speciality stores. I make it a point to have always a couple of packages in my freezer. Quite a few times I was happy to have them in the house when I had company at short notice.
One package contains 4 sheets and includes instructions. The instructions should be followed to the dot. Never, never open the package before you have all ingredients ready. Even the baking sheet should be buttered ahead of time. Once the package is open, the dough dries out quickly, becomes brittle, and is difficult to handle.
You should however, take the packages out of the freezer 3 hours before you start making the strudel and keep them at room temperature.
To serve 6 to 8 people I make 2 strudels, using 2 packages, or 4 sheets, for each strudel. You may use fewer sheets if you wish but using more sheets adds more body to the strudel and also makes it more flaky. Appel Strudel, the modern Way 2 packages of strudel dough 1 cup seedless raisins 1 cup breadcrumbs 1 cup butter, melted 8 to 10 medium-large apples 1 cup sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon Vanilla sugar
Cover raisins with boiling water, let stand for 5 minutes, drain well, and spread out on paper towel to dry. Brown breadcrumbs in about 1/3 of the melted butter and put aside to cool. Peel, core and slice apples thinly, mix in sugar, cinnamon, and raisins.
Open 1 package, unfold strudel dough sheets, and place 1 sheet on a large dish towel. Brush the sheet with butter slightly, sprinkle on some of the breadcrumbs. Cover with second sheet, brush with butter, sprinkle on more breadcrumbs and repeat with third and fourth sheet.
Cover one-quarter of the top sheet with the apple misture, starting with the long side. Roll it up like a jelly-roll, starting with the filling- covered part. Lifting the edges of the towel will help.
Using both hands place the strudel on the well buttered, large baking sheet, leaving room for the second strudel. Now open up second dough package and repeat procedure.
Brush both strudels with melted butter and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F. for about 45 minutes or until tops of the strudels are slightly browned.
Cut into 3 inch pieces, dust with vanilla sugar, and serve on a preheated platter, luke- warm but not hot.