Finding myself with some leftover filo dough, I decided dessert would be apple strudel with vanilla bean ice cream. It's easy to make and once dinner comes out of the oven I'll have the strudel ready to bake. It takes about 30 minutes to prepare and another 50 minutes to bake, then a half hour or more to cool. So it will be just warm, flaky and ready for dessert at the right time.
|Julian's Apple Strudel|
The oldest known Strudel recipe is from 1696, a handwritten recipe is housed at the Vienna City and State Library (the Wiener Stadtbibliothek). But today I'm using a recipe I modified from Martha Stewart, which is quick and easy to make and comes out perfectly every time. On her website you'll find many variations of strudel, but I was particularly fond of this one because it adds dried apricots, which blend in and add a subtle flavor to the apples. But you can also substitute those with raisins, which is more common in Austria.
|Julian sugars the buttered filo dough.|
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 Granny Smith apples
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup dried fine breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon potato starch (or corn starch)
1 tablespoon flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
12 sheets filo dough (roughly 13 by 16 inches), thawed if frozen
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 tablepoon sanding sugar (optional)
Ice cream or sweetened whipped cream, for serving
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl; set aside 3 tablespoons mixture. Peel and core apples; slice, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces. Toss with lemon juice; stir into sugar mixture with apricots, breadcrumbs, starch and flour.
Lightly flour your work surface. Gently unfold the thawed filo dough on the counter next to your work surface. If it has small cracks or rips you may still use it. Select the top two sheets and gently refold them to making moving them easier. Move the folded sheets onto your work surface and unfold.
|Apple and apricot filling.|
Gently spread the apple filling on filo, leaving a 1-inch border. Starting with a long end, roll up to enclose filling ending with the seam side down. Carefully move the strudel (using your hands to support it in the center and on the ends onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush top with remaining butter; sprinkle with remaining sugar. Add sanding sugar if available. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 50 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack or cutting board until just warm. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.
|A flaky, crispy, fruit-filled treat!|