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 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 is 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. So local apples from Quebec are in this today’s recipe!
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
- plain breadcrumbs
- walnuts or pecan nuts
- sultana raisins
- fine sugar
- vanilla sugar
- unsalted butter
- zest from lemon
- egg for egg wash
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 me 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 and 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
You can see here on the pictures step by step, how to make Apple Strudel. Start with toasting the breadcrumbs with a small piece of butter for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Cool down the breadcrumbs before using them in the recipe. Cleaned, cored and grated apples will be mixed to obtain flavourful mixture.
We will use sugar, cinnamon, walnuts (or any other nuts available in your region), lemon zest, dry raisins and vanilla sugar, where this mixture will be placed on rolled puff pastry. On the top and the bottom of this apple mixture, I add toasted breadcrumb. It will absorb all the juices left from the apples, plus the butter will give extra flavour. Fold the puff pastry to cover the filling. Brush with egg wash and bake for 40 minutes.
When you take it out from the oven, make sure you leave it to cool off on the baking sheet. It will be easier to cut it, and you won’t burn your tongue, while tasting it. Because this amazing apple scent going through your kitchen will be so addictive, that you won’t be able to wait, until it cools down. At the end don’t forget to sift a good amount of confectioner’s sugar to sweeten a bit more of the Apple Strudel.
For the biggest gourmand, scoop one or two scoops of ice cream next to the Apple Strudel and it will be a like a cherry on the cake. Vanilla ice cream compliments very well to Apple Strudel and helps to cool down as well the hot pastry.
HOW AND WHERE TO STORE APPLE STRUDEL
Apple strudel is best when fresh and warm from the oven. But you can keep it in room temperature for up 2 days, all depending on the temperature inside the house. During hot summer temperatures, it can get spoiled quickly. I would recommend to place leftovers in the refrigerator.
Apple strudel, already baked, doesn’t freeze very well. The flaky dough will become a bit saggy, once frozen. And if you will use frozen puff pastry for this recipe, most manufacturer do not recommend freezing again the puff pastry.
VIDEO HOW TO MAKE BEST APPLE STRUDEL
- PUFF PASTRY PEACH GALETTE
- PLUM GALETTE with almond filling
- APPLE STREUSEL MUFFINS RECIPE
- PUFF PASTRY POPPY SEED CHOCOLATE BABKA
- PARMESAN STICKS -PUFF PASTRY
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.