Thursday, December 29, 2016

Apple Strudel with Puff Pastry

Good morning, friends!

I've got my days of the weeks a little confounded here, and almost forgot this was Thursday... and yet, it is!

I've been practicing making strudels (A rolled pastry filled with sweet or savory filling that came to us from Austria and other European countries) using puff pastry. A purist would say that phyllo (fillo) dough is more authentic for strudel, and while that might be true, we like the puff pastry results better. The puff pastry holds together better while using less butter, and it's moister than Fillo dough....

I still use Fillo dough for baklava, but for strudels, I buy the Puff Pastry when it's on sale and keep a few boxes in the freezer. They thaw quickly and I can take a sheet of the dough (two sheets per pack) lay it out, thin it with a few swipes of the rolling pin and lay it on a buttered cookie sheet, ready to fill. Fillings can be store-bought (Poppy seed, lemon, fruit pie filling) but I like to make my own when time allows.

For Christmas I made the apple nut strudel I posted in September RECIPE HERE  but I wanted to try a fruit filling, too. I had a bin of apples that needed some love so I grabbed two large Crispins, peeled and cored them, then diced them. I put them into a smallish saucepan, added 1/4 cup water, covered them and steamed them on medium heat until soft.

While they're steaming (it only takes a few minutes once they get hot) I mixed 1/4 cup flour with 3/4 cup sugar.   Add in 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg.  Mix dry ingredients together. 

Stir into hot, softened apples. 

Add 1 tablespoon butter.

If mix is too thick, add a splash of water (probably another 1/4 cup)

Turn down heat and stir gently. Mixture should form a thick apple pie filling, and it takes less than ten minutes to make it.

Spread a thick layer of filling over the middle third of your thinned puff pastry on the cookie sheet. Fold one side up and over. Repeat with second side. Score the top by making half a dozen diagonal slashes with sharp knife so steam escapes.

Brush with two tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. (Mix one tablespoon of sugar with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon to make cinnamon sugar).

Bake at 400° for about 15-20 minutes. Pastry is done when it puffs up, turns golden brown and appears "dry". Remove from oven and let sit, then drizzle with glaze below:

Vanilla glaze:

2 Tbsp. soft butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Add enough milk (not much!!!) to mix with whisk.... Drizzle over strudel.

And this is what they look like with drizzled glaze on a Christmas platter! Needless to say they were enjoyed by all!

Total prep time for this is about twenty minutes (and that made two strudels) including peeling and chopping apples and thinning the pastry dough by rolling it into a bigger rectangle.

I did notice the apple filling made the puff pastry "spread" a little more. The dryer nut filling kept a classic rectangle shape... but the apple pie filling spread into a more oblong shape. But it was filled with delicious apple-y goodness, so we didn't care!

And Mary and Joseph made it to the stable as hoped and planned! And she brought forth her first-born child and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them at the inn....  and you can see from the bits of yarn, our manger is soft and warm to welcome the baby!  During Advent, kids get awarded a piece of yarn for going out of their way to do something nice and kind and good... The more yarn you see, the nicer the little ones have been! Their good deeds "warm" the manger for Jesus. :)

Wishing you the best possible New Year's weekend... I treat myself on New Year's to a quiet weekend of writing and hosting the Seekerville Rockin' It New Year's Eve party over on our Seekerville blog. The party starts at 6:00 AM on 12/31 and goes ALL DAY until midnight Pacific time! 

Hourly prizes, fun conversations and giveaways, and virtual food, dancing and fireworks!!! :)

It's a great place to hang out if you don't have a hot date for New Year's!


  1. Oh my mouth is watering for a piece of Apple Strudel to go with my cup of coffee.

    What a great idea for the children to cover baby Jesus with pieces of yarn for their good deeds while teaching them about the birth of our Lord and Savior.

    Have a fun filled New Year's Eve on Seekerville. Maybe time will allow me to stop by this exciting virtual party. May 2017 be filled with peace, blessings, love, joy and friendship in abundance. Looking forward to great books to read, too. God bless. Hugs to you Ruthy.

    1. Marilyn, thanks for coming by! I love this tradition of warming that manger... it makes Advent a memorable time for little kids, not a Santa Claus fest... And I hope you can stop by for New Year's Eve! It's always fun and silly and great company!!!

  2. I've been craving apple strudel. My favourite bakery was bought out by some corporation or other headed by young guys who know nothing about baking and they decided to cut costs drastically which included using butter! All the great staff I've known for years -- lovely German ladies with oodles of experience -- aren't there any more. Whether they were let go or quit on principle, I have no idea. But the quality of the baked stuff is dreadful. We used to get all our special occasion cakes there and if I had a hankering for an eclair I knew where to go. Why am I telling you this? Because it was the only place in town that had honest to goodness strudel. Divine. It was their specialty. However, take out the butter and fresh fruit and shrink the size while hiking the price and one is buying. I predict the bakery is going to crash and burn within the year. All that to say that you might just have inspired me to try making my own apple strudel. :-)

    1. Kav, this is so easy... and you can freeze half of it so you have some to eat and some to save... Honestly, it's totally worth it! You know I wouldn't kid you.... and I love good quality baked goods. It's such a treat! I hope you try this... strudel and good books. Perfect!!!

  3. This strudel would have gone really well with the German Shepherd's Pie I had last week.

    It looks so easy. I have some frozen blueberries I found in my freezer (fresh ones that I froze last summer). I'm thinking that might work well too.

    Looking forward to the New Year's Eve party. A party where I don't have to leave my house is my kind of party. :)

    1. Cate, I agree! New Year's weekend is my treat to me... writing, relaxing, no parties, a couple of days to get things back in order... and I get so excited about jumping into writing tasks... There's something so blessed about starting a new year, isn't there???

      And yes, this strudel would be a perfect pairing with that Shepherd's pie!!!

  4. I was all set to make the strudel recipe you shared in September, but when Christmas morning came, no one wanted anything sweet. :(

    But I still have all the fixin's! So one of these days - when we might be craving something sweet - it will go on the morning menu!

    See you all New Year's Eve! I'll be there early - 8:00 am!

    1. I'm so excited to be hanging out with you on New Year's Eve, Jan!!!!

      And I hear you about the sweet overload... These freeze really well, so if you make them and need to tuck into the freezer, there's no loss of taste/texture when you defrost.... I love things you can do that with.

      One of these days give it a whirl... Seth likes the apple pie filling best, he's all over the stuffed apple goodness inside! But I love the drier, nutty texture of the apple/nut one. They're all so good!

  5. You are a woman of many talents! That looks fabulous. <3

    1. Stephanie, it's soooo good! And the puff pastry makes it pretty simple, right???

  6. Oh, wow, that look so good! And you educated me. I didn't know the two types of pastries were different! :)

    I LOVE the bits of yarn and the wonderful lessons you're teaching the kids. Thanks for sharing great ideas. I'll store them until I'm a grandma someday!

    1. You will love being a Grandma! It is so much fun, Missy. And yeah, the two pastries are really different... if I'm making spanikopita (spelling might be creative) or baklava, the Phyllo/fillo works great.... but for strudel I like this much better!

  7. Hi Ruthy, my favorite hostess. I am sharing a cuppa coffee with you this the my nightgown. Fried potatoes and onions are cooking on the stove...a savory compliment to your strudel.