Last week, I posted the recipe for my mother’s Cognac Cream Dessert. Feeling nostalgic, I’m posting another recipe from this delightful, energetic, inspiring and wonderful cook: My Mom’s Apple Strudel.
This recipe takes time and benefits from several hands participating in the fun. Here, we have 3 generations all delighting in the process of preparing (and eating!) apple strudel. With the Thanksgiving holiday close at hand, you should get your family in on the action! What a delightful way to spend Thanksgiving Saturday. The apple strudel can be a dessert that evening or breakfast the next morning.
Often people will take an apple-strudel “short-cut” by using phyllo dough (or sometimes even puff pastry). My Mom’s apple strudel recipe is not that! Homemade strudel dough is the best! It’s flaky and crumbly (like phyllo dough), but without all the butter (and layering) that phyllo would need to bake so crisply. In fact, the dough itself if just water, flour and a squeeze of lemon.
Here’s Lucia rolling out the dough onto a floured table-runner, with my approving mother looking on. The table runner has 2 purposes: 1 is to gauge the thinness of the dough — you should see the pattern through the dough as you stretch it thinner and thinner. The second purpose shall be revealed later in this post…stay tuned!
Once the dough has been rolled as thin as you can get it, the family fun begins! We all rub our hands with a neutral oil (grapeseed) so that we can pull and stretch the dough without it sticking to our fingers.
Begin by gently pulling the dough in all directions. Work from the center, out. Center, out. You’ll find the dough is remarkably strong, as long as you work slowly. And if it rips, don’t panic! Stretch on…the rips will be covered when you roll the strudel.
As my mother would say, “we had a ball” making apple strudel. Lucia entertained us by singing the whole time.
Here, we lift and stretch the dough: look how strong (yet thin!) it is.
Next, we move on to making the filling: apples, cinnamon, lemon zest, walnuts, brown sugar: Lucia suggested, Grandmother approved.
Load up the filling on one end of the dough, and the second purpose of the table runner is now revealed! Lift it up as you roll the dough into a beautiful log!
Serve dusted with powdered sugar and a side of “pppprsssstt” our family word for whipped cream (denoted by the sound it makes coming from the canister.) If you’re like my mom and Lucia the “pppprsssstt” will be at least quadruple the amount pictured above.