29 May 2020

APPLE WALNUT STRUDEL

Sweet strudel, the timeless layered pastry dessert, full of apples, spices, vanilla, and walnuts; perfect for tea or coffee time. Unlike the rolled dough ones I frequently make, this one is layered with filo pastry sheets, thin and delicate, but sturdy enough to bear the fragrant filling.
As many old-fashioned desserts are, it is rather humble; a few filo sheets, a few apples, and a handful of walnuts. But those humble ingredients come together effortlessly to create a delightful treat.
I wholeheartedly recommend this dessert to be served slightly warm. Even though many similar strudels are served cold, this one truly shines when served warm, with a small scoop of caramel or apple pie ice cream.
As always, for strudels and pretty much all apple desserts, I use Golden delicious and Granny Smith apples in equal quantities, because I love that combination, but feel free to use any apple you like. Another good choice for this strudel would be the Pink Lady, or even Glockenapfel or Junami.


Ingredients
500 grams filo pastry sheets, 16 pieces
600 grams sweet cooking apples, grated
200 grams apricot jam
100 grams toasted walnuts, ground
30 grams semolina
50 grams Turbinado sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
160 ml tepid water
70 ml vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation
Place the coarsely grated apples into a strainer, and set them aside. This will remove some of the liquid from them, just enough for the strudels to be soft, but not wet. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, semolina, cinnamon, and ground walnuts, and set it aside. In another medium bowl, mix the oil, water, and vanilla, as this will be used to brush all of the filo sheets. Divide them into four stacks of four sheets, and lay one filo sheet flat on the work surface, brush it generously with the oil mixture, and then lay another sheet on top. Repeat that once more, then place the fourth sheet on the top and spread a fourth of the apricot jam on top.
Next, place a fourth of the grated apples, and sprinkle on the semolina and walnut mixture on top of them. Make sure everything is evenly distributed on the whole sheet. Fold the outer inch of the opposed edges to keep the filling in, and then roll it up into a somewhat tight roll. Repeat this with the rest of the filo stacks and apples, and arrange all of the strudels on a large baking sheet, lined with baking parchment. Brush each of them with the remaining mixture of water and oil, because there will be some left, and bake them immediately in a preheated oven, at 200˚C, for about 20 minutes. Once they are baked, remove them from the oven, and let them cool down on the baking sheet for about 30 minutes, then cut them up and serve. Yields 16 generous servings.

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