…from the Perspectives’ Kitchen
How you doin’? During much happier times (pre-pandemic), I apprenticed in the pastry department at the Sacher Hotel in Vienna, Austria. We made hundreds of portions of Sacher Torts and Strudels of all kinds each day. In fact, Apple Strudel is one of the most popular treats in any traditional Viennese café and is considered the iconic national dish of Austria.
Apple Strudel is often mistaken for being of German origin—it isn’t. The oldest known strudel recipe dates back to 1697 and survives today in a handwritten cookbook in the Vienna Town Hall Library. The dessert gained popularity in the 18th century particularly throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but it’s likely that a collaboration of cultures helped in its creation. The paper-thin layers of phyllo dough are particularly reminiscent of flaky Turkish pastries similar to baklava.
The making of a traditional Viennese strudel is complex. The chosen filling is spread intermittently between layers of the finest unleavened dough, making for the characteristic swirling pattern of pastry and filling when cut. I’ve made my recipe much easier.
With many different varieties, both savory and sweet, arguably the most well-known is that of the Apple variety–Apfelstrudel. It is often served with tea, coffee or even champagne and topped with crème anglaise, vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. It can be served warm or at room temperature.
And if all this talk of strudel has made you hungry? I want to offer you a simple and easy recipe that makes it possible to make this dessert at home.
This recipe was tested by Will & Judy, and they provided the beautiful photo you see above.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 35-40 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings
1/3 cup raisins
2 tablespoons rum
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups coarsely chopped peeled apples
1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons canola oil
8 sheets frozen phyllo dough (14 x 9-inch size) (store bought is okay)
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, optional
ChefSecret: You can make an array of fruit and cheese fillings like fresh peach, apricot, and cherry-cream cheese. You can also make a savory style strudel with ground beef and spices.
Quip of the Day: “I was just wondering; can an atheist get insurance against acts of God?”
Do you have a question or comment? Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. All recipes and cooking tips are posted on our website https://www.perspectives-la.com/covid-19-survival-guide.
To you and everyone dear to you, be strong, be positive, stay well, stay safe and be kind. Take a breath and count your blessings, and if you have a little extra to share with others, please consider donating to Feeding America and/or American Red Cross.
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