Viennese Apple Strudel

Viennese Apple Strudel:

This is a great traditional Austrian Strudel recipe.


Chef Leo Haas

Makes 10 servings
(makes 1 large Strudel)

*For the Viennese Strudel Dough:
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons canola oil plus 1 tsp canola oil to cover the dough while resting
1/2 cup + 3 tbs cup warm water (105-115°)
Melted unsalted butter for brushing the dough
*For the Filling:
3 pounds Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup + 1 tbs granulated sugar
1/3 cup raisins
4 tablespoons dark rum
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup + 1 tbs coarsely ground walnuts
6 ounces unsalted butter
3/4 cup Panko (Japanese style bread crumbs)
Some all purpose flour to sprinkle the cloth
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting the strudel
3 cups Vanilla Sauce *For Garnish:
Fresh mint sprigs (one sprig for each strudel)
Heavy whipping cream (about 1 tbs for each strudel)
1 slice Apple Chip (for each strudel) see Basics


For the Dough:

Place the flour into a Kitchen Aid bowl equipped with a dough hook, beat the egg in a small bowl and add to the flour then salt and oil.  Start kneading the dough on low speed and gradually add the water on medium speed and knead the dough until it forms a medium-size ball and has a silky sheen.  Remove the dough from the machine and place onto a lightly floured work surface, continue to knead by hand until the dough is smooth and supple.  Now, form a ball and place the strudel dough ball onto a plate, drizzle the oil over the dough to cover top and bottom and sides.
Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 45 minutes.

How to Stretch the Dough:
The trick really is to have a square table, such as a butcher block or any square table would work.  The size you are looking for is about 2 x 2 feet, because that is how thin you will be able to stretch the dough.  Working the Strudel Dough on a square table as described makes it easy to stretch all four corners of the dough over the square table, making it therefore easier to stretch.  However, no panic, if you don’t have a square table handy, your kitchen counter will work just as well.  You will also need a clean table cloth, preferable white, which will stain a bit from the dough,- so you want to reserve that table cloth just for your Strudel Dough makings.  The cloth helps to prevent the dough from sticking and also comes in really handy when rolling up ingredients into the dough.  Having explained all that, now you can begin to roll and stretch the dough.
Place the cloth over your work surface and dust lightly with flour, place the Strudel Dough ball onto the cloth and with a rolling pin roll the dough out gently from the center equally, into about a 1/4 inch thick square, applying a little more pressure to the ends.  Now using your hands, place the backs of your hands under the dough and carefully lift and stretch the dough, starting with one corner of your work surface until it hangs over.  You can alternate by turning your hands around and carefully stretch the dough with your fingertips, repeat this process on all four sides of your table.  If you work on a kitchen counter, just stretch the dough over the two ends of the counter, then stretch the dough over the sides and lengthwise onto the counter.
Immediately brush the dough with melted butter.  It is now ready for your filling.

For the Filling:
While the Strudel Dough is resting, prepare the filling:
Rinse the raisins in hot water and pat dry with a kitchen paper towel.  Place the raisins into a small bowl and drizzle the rum over them, cover with plastic and allow the raisins to steep for 20 minutes.
Peel, remove the core and thinly slice the apples.
Stir in the sugar, cinnamon, and ground walnuts and combine all ingredients well.  Set aside.

Now the fun begins – rolling the strudel:
Spread a large cloth on a table or kitchen counter and sprinkle with flour.  Follow the detailed  description on how to stretch and roll the dough.
Cut off any of the thicker side edges, if necessary.
Preheat the oven to 400°.
Prepare a baking sheet, greasing it lightly with a little melted butter; make sure the strudel will fit.  If not you might have to cut and seal the strudel by cutting it in half so it will fit the sheet, giving you two strudels.
If this process is necessary, please make absolutely sure the ends are sealed and folded in tightly so none of the apple filling can escape.
Over low heat in a small saucepan melt the butter.
O.K. you can begin preparing the Strudel Dough for the filling:

Using a pastry brush, make sure you brush all of the strudel surface with the melted butter (about half of the melted butter) then equally sprinkle the bread crumbs on top of the dough.
Cover two-thirds of the dough with the apple filling and using your fingers at first, wrap the dough around the apple filling, just one turn along the whole length of the strudel.
Now using the cloth, gently roll the dough over the apple filling (jelly-roll like fashion), stopping from time to time to ensure the strudel rolls up equally and tight.  Fold in the ends to seal the strudel.  You can use the cloth to transfer the strudel on the baking sheet, or carefully lift the strudel upwards with one hand on one end and place your forearm underneath the strudel with your other hand, lifting it to place the strudel on the baking sheet.

Brush the strudel with the melted butter to coat.

Bake the strudel in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes at 400 °,  to a golden brown.  Brush occasionally with the melted butter.
Remove from the oven and cool at room temperature for about 30 minutes before cutting.

Vanilla Sauce :

(yields 1 3/4 cups)

For the Sauce:
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 vanilla bean split lengthwise into half
2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
*To Thicken the Sauce:
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon cold water

For the Vanilla Sauce:

Put the milk, cream, and sugar in a medium-size saucepan, scrape the seeds from the split vanilla bean and add the bean as well as the seeds to the milk-cream mixture.
Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Remove the sauce pan from the heat, cover and let the flavors infuse for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small cup, mix the cornstarch and water together.  Set aside.Remove the cover from the saucepan and bring the mixture to a slight boil.
Be careful that the milk mixture does not boil over!   While the milk-cream mixture is at a slight boil, gradually with a whisk, add the cornstarch water to thicken the sauce.
Allow the sauce to simmer for another minute to thicken to a creamy consistency.
Strain the vanilla sauce through a fine mesh sieve into another saucepan squeezing the vanilla  bean to remove all its extracts.
Now your warm vanilla sauce is ready for your special dessert.
You can also strain the sauce into a metal bowl and place the bowl in a ice water bath, stirring frequently to cool the sauce.
Put the sauce in a storage container, cover, and refrigerate.This sauce can be used hot or cold.

For the Apple Chips:

2 each Granny Smith Apples
3 cups granulated sugar
5 cups water
2 tablespoons Kirsch liqueur


For the Chips:

Remove the stems.  Using a mandolin, slice the unpeeled Apple as thin as possible on both sides, almost transparent but not cutting into the core.

In a medium-size sauce pan, bring the sugar, Kirsch, and water to a boil, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar.

Turn the heat to low and drop the pear slices into the hot syrup.
Simmer the pear slices for about 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and cool the pear slices in syrup at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 250° to 275°.

Line a baking tray with a Silpat mat.

One by one, remove the Apple slices from the syrup and place onto a kitchen paper towel, pat the top of the pear slices lightly to remove any extra syrup.

Place the pear slices on to the lined baking tray and place into the preheated oven to dry, about 30 minutes.

To make sure they are all the way dried, remove one pear chip and let it cool.  It should be crisp, if not just bake the Apple slices for a little bit longer.

Remove from oven and allow the chips to cool at room temperature and store in an airtight container for up to 1 day.

This batch will make 28 to 30 slices, so you will have some extras for a little snack.

This works also great using a Bosc pear.  Always use firm pears or apples.
Also works great with rhubarb.  Make sure you slice the rhubarb into very thin slices.

Makes an excellent garnish for any recipes which call for pear, apple or rhubarb or just use it for a snack.

Slice the strudel in one and a half to two inch pieces.
Place the Warm Vanilla Sauce onto center of the plate, place the Apple Strudel on top of the sauce, dust with confectioners’ sugar, and garnish with fresh mint and the Apple Chip.  Serve at once.

You will end up with left over dough. You can discard the dough, or just make more filling to make additional strudels. (Just double the apple filling ingredients)

Another option would be making smaller strudels, by cutting the strudel dough in half before rolling and stretching;  however you will need to double your apple filling.

Baked Apple Strudel can be covered and refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Enjoy this strudel cold or warm.