Apple strudel is a flaky and buttery puff pastry filled with a delicious mixture of grated apples, vanilla sugar, zest of lemon, walnuts or pecans and raising. Apple strudel is often served with vanilla ice cream in European cafés, such as Austria, Czech or Hungary.
Where does Apple Strudel come from?
You will not be able to resist this decadent, flaky, crispy and juicy at the same time Apple strudel. In the Czech Republic, we have been baking Apple strudel since the 18th century. Quite a practice, right? So you can trust me on this one, I will take you step by step, how to make The Best Apple Strudel with puff pastry.
I love my Czech roots! Especially, when I am getting wiser with years. I realized, that it is important to cherish these recipes which were given to my by my mom and my grandmothers. At the same time, I want to hand all this beautiful heritage to my children as well. I am very lucky, that my children love Czech cuisine, so that keeps me also writing all these Czech recipes.
IS APPLE STRUDEL CZECH SPECIALTY ?
Czech cuisine is a part of my heritage, and it always reminds me of my childhood. The moments spent in the kitchen with my mom or my two grandmother are unforgettable. As far as I remember, my mom used to cook everything from scratch and from fresh, local ingredients. And I try to do the same for my family. So local apples from Quebec are in this today’s recipe!
The same it is with this Apple strudel. It is a heritage, which is handed down from mother to daughter as part of Czech cuisine traditions. Apple strudel has been one of the traditional dessert for many years in the Czech Republic, altogether with other countries under the Austro-Hungarian Empire back in 18th century.
INGREDIENTS FOR BEST APPLE STRUDEL
- Puff Pastry – is the base for Apple strudel. You can make your own homemade, but for easier baking many stores sell already prepared puff pastry, you can find them in frozen section.
- Plain Breadcrumbs – toasted breadcrumbs add structure to Apple strudel and helps not to have saggy bottoms.
- Apples – One of the main ingredients in Apple strudel. Use firm fresh apples and grate them finely for best results.
- Walnuts – adds a crunch and extra texture. Pecan nuts can also be used in this recipe.
- Sultana raisins – are the best quality raisins and I recommend using this kind of raisin.
- Fine sugar – will sweeten up the strudel, and fine sugar is recommended to use in this recipe for it’s better absorbing qualities.
- Cinnamon – this spice is excellent for flavour.
- Vanilla sugar – will add a divine vanilla scent and will sweeten up the strudel.
- Unsalted butter – best is to be used at room temperature, and it will add more flavour.
- Lemon – is used in juice form to help the apples not to brown too quickly. And as zest, for fresh flavour.
- Eggs – is used as egg wash, for shiny and crispy top of the Apple strudel.
PUFF PASTRY DOUGH IS OFTEN USED FOR APPLE STRUDEL
Apple strudel is usually made out of puff pastry in the Czech Republic. But you might have seen some recipes calling for simple pie dough. While pie dough might be easier to make, apple strudel needs to be flaky, crispy from outside. And so I will be using classic puff pastry dough to achieve the best results.
How to defrost store bough puff pastry?
Defrost the puff pastry overnight in the refrigerator or for 1 hour at room temperature. Never freeze already defrosted puff pastry, it wouldn’t taste well. And use the defrosted puff pastry within 24 hours.
WHAT KIND OF APPLES TO USE FOR APPLE STRUDEL
I am usually using any kind of apples in apple strudel. But best are the seasonal and local apples from your region. Some apples might be juicier than others. So use your preferred apples. I am using in this recipe Golden delicious Apples.
More important is the apple skin. I recommend peeling off the skin of any apple. Especially when apples are older (not in the season), the skin might be thicker. So if you are making apple strudel past December and using local apples, peel the skin off for sure. The filling will be more smooth and pleasant on the palette.
GRATING APPLES & JUICY FILLING
Always grate apples, when using in Apple Strudel. It will result in light and creamy filling. The size for grating can be small or large. When you grate apples, make sure you strain the juices, but not too much. Some apples might give a lot of juice, and that would make the bottom of apple strudel saggy. The rule is, to strain just half of the juices. Do not squeeze the juices from the apple. If you squeeze the apple juices, then the apple strudel will be too dry.
TOASTED PLAIN BREADCRUMBS
To give an extra crunch and flavour in Apple Strudel, plus not to have our bottom of puff pastry saggy from juicy apples, we will toast breadcrumbs to be added on the bottom and the top of the puff pastry. Also, for an extra buttery flavour, we will add extra slices of butter on the top of the apple filling.
HOW TO MAKE APPLE STRUDEL STEP-BY-STEP
Step no. 1 First start toasting the breadcrumbs with a small piece of butter. Usually it takes about 5 minutes to achieve the crunchy golden colour of breadcrumbs. Cool the breadcrumbs before using them in the recipe. You can also prepare the toasted breadcrumbs a day in advance.
Step no. 2 Clean, core and grate apples. To keep the apple from browning quickly, add a splash of lemon. Mix in sugar, cinnamon, walnuts (or any other nuts available in your region), lemon zest, dry raisins and vanilla sugar. Mix all these ingredients gently together.
Step no. 3 Roll out puff pastry to a rectangular shape of measurements 14″x8″. Make sure your surface in clean and floured. Place a little bit of the toasted breadcrumbs on the bottom of the puff pastry and on top place the apple mixture. Toasted breadcrumbs will absorb extra juices left from the apples and will add extra buttery flavour. This is totally optional: you can add a few sliced of unsalted butter on top of the breadcrumbs. Fold the puff pastry to cover the filling and brush with egg wash.
Repeat the same process with the other puff pastry. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
Step no. 4 Let cool off the strudel on the baking sheet, once you take it out of the oven. It will be easier to cut it, and you won’t burn your tongue, while tasting it. Use powdered sugar to sift all over the Apple Strudel. Cut in 2-inches wide slices and serve with a scoop of ice cream.
HOW TO STORE APPLE STRUDEL
Apple strudel is best when consumed fresh and still warm from the oven. Keep the leftover strudel in room temperature for up to 2 days, wrapped in plastic wrapping or in airtight container. During hot summer temperatures, keep the strudel in the refrigerator, it can get spoiled quickly.
Apple strudel, already baked, doesn’t freeze very well. The flaky dough will become a bit saggy, once frozen. I do not recommend freezing leftovers in the freezer.
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THE BEST APPLE STRUDEL
- 2 pieces (454 g) defrosted puff pastry Tendeflake or Pepperidge farms
- 1 tbsp butter plus extra slices for the filling
- 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 4 large apples cored and peeled
- 1 cup walnuts or pecan nuts
- 1 cup sultana raisins
- 6 tbsp fine sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp vanilla sugar
- 1 tbsp zest from lemon
- 1 large egg for egg wash
Toast the breadcrumbs
- Reheat a pan on low-medium heat and melt 1 tbsp of butter. Add plain breadcrumbs and toast for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F/ 177 C, middle rack and prepare a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Clean, core and grate apples and place them in a large bowl. Mix the apples with all the dry ingredients (chopped nuts, raisins, sugar, vanilla sugar, zest from lemon, cinnamon).
Roll Puff Pastry
- Lay first puff pastry on a clean flour-dusted surface and roll it into a thin 14"x 8" inches rectangular shape.
Fill Puff Pastry
- Place in the middle of the puff pastry 1/4 of the toasted breadcrumbs, than place on top of the breadcrumbs half of the apple mixture. Some apples might lose lots of liquids, squeeze some liquids, but not all. Add another 1/4 of breadcrumbs on the top of the apple mixture and add a few slices of butter.
- Close the puff pastry by folding the bottom of puff pastry it over the filling and the top side over the puff pastry itself. Close also the edges of puff pastry by tucking it inside or under the dough.
- Place the Apple Strudel on the baking sheet and repeat the process with the second (remaining) puff pastry and apple filling. Once you are done, place the the second apple strudel on the same baking sheet.
- Brush both apple strudels with egg wash and bake on 375 F / 177 C for 40 minutes or until nice golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool in sheet pan. T
- To garnish, sprinkle apple strudel with confectioner’s sugar. Slice and serve as is or with ice cream.
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Love it, it was so delicious and easy to make with premade puff pastry!
You are da best ! :-))
Yep, your right Juls, that is indeed, the best apple strudel! (:
So happy you like it Nick!:-) Thank you for your lovely comment 🙂
This looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it!
Thank you so much! 🙂 Would love to know how you liked it, let me know! 🙂
I guess this is the best apple strudel picture I have ever seen!!!
So happy you like it Deeksha!:-)
What a beautiful blog – the pictures are amazing and you’re information is as always laid out so well with great instructions and of course it looks delicious!!!!