This week it’s the Jewish festival of Succot. You can tell it’s Succot because we sit in a open building in the garden with fruit hanging from the roof and it ALWAYS rains! It’s kind of a Harvest festival with a lot of fruit taking centre stage. It will come as no surprise then that the traditional cake for this festival is Apple Strudel. I love an apple strudel. We used to have it all the time when we went to Tim’s mum for Sunday lunch so I thought I’d give it a go.
For all of two seconds I thought about making myown puff pastry. Then I came to my senses and used a spare pre-rolled pastry I had as ‘back up’ in the freezer. My excuse to Tim was that it was taking up valuable freezer space (I don’t think he bought it!)
Strudel is a little time consuming and fiddly to make but it’s well worth the effort. I love the cinnamony, appley, nuttyness in a strudel so it was good that I could design it to my exact tastes. Tim loved it and as my harshest critic I took that to mean it’s a winner in the MT household and will be making a re-appearance again soon. Winter warmer anyone?
Apple Strudel Recipe(serves 8)
- Puff pastry
- 700g cooking apples
- 25g unsalted butter
- 60g brown sugar
- 1/2 – 1 tsp ground cinnamon (according to taste. I like a lot)
- 50g sultanas- soaked in boiled water for 10 minutes to soften them
- 50g walnuts -cut into chunks
- 4 tbsp apricot jam
- flaked almonds to top
- Pre-heat your oven to 230C. The oven needs to be hot so the butter is absorbed into the flour rather than melts and leaks out all over the place!
- To prepare the filling peel, core and chop the apples into small chunks. I use cooking apples for a strudel as they have a more sour taste and work perfectly. Place in a large frying pan with the butter and sugar and cook for around 10 minutes till the apple starts to soften but not fall apart.
- While still in the frying pan sprinkle the cinnamon over the top of the apples and add the drained sultanas and walnuts. Stir for a minute to combine then place in a sieve to allow the excess liquid to drain away and cool down a little. We don’t want a soggy bottom now do we?
- The pastry needs to be rolled out into a large square or rectangle. Cut diagonal lines away from the centre area then place the filling over the centre. Tuck the top and bottom of the pastry over the filling then lift each diagonal strand of pastry over the filling in turn left then right then left and so on. Try to keep each strand close the the last so you have most of the strudel closed up. A little gap or two is fine as that will allow steam to escape but too many gaps and the whole thing will collapse!
- Carefully move the strudel onto a baking sheet with greaseproof paper and pop it in the centre of the oven for 30-40 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.
- A few minutes before the strudel is ready to come out of the oven heat up the apricot jam. I do this in the microwave in 30 second bursts. You want it to be runny.
- As soon as the strudel is out of the oven brush the apricot jam over the whole thing with a silicon pastry brush and sprinkle the chopped almonds liberally over the top.
- Enjoy with a big dollop of cream.
See you in the Succot