Apfelstrudel is traditional of Austria, but it is common also in the north of Italy where it is called Strudel di mele. In Trieste they call it “Strucolo de pomi” and it is frequently offered as a desert or in the afternoon with a cup of coffee. The filling of this cake is made with thin slices of apple, sultanas and wintry spices including cinnamon, pine nuts and lemon zest. Everything is rolled in a crispy and golden pastry and finally it is covered with a generous sprinkle of icing sugar.
This is my first strudel and I decided to use a crust pastry. I do not know which pasty is the best for strudel. Both the puff or crust pastry can be used, but, since the puff pastry is quite long and a bit difficult to make I decided to try this easy and quick to make crust pastry. I prefer to avoid ready-made pastry, but with a good quality pastry you can obtain really good results. Personally I like to do everything by hand. A little effort is worth the final satisfaction!
Since it was my first time, during the cooking time the Studel slightly opened in the middle and some filling came on the surface. Not a big deal actually, but I discovered that, to avoid this, it is recommended to put the strudel in the fridge for a few minutes after having rolled it and just before baked it in the oven. For the pastry I followed a recipe from “Il cucchiaio d’argento”. Another tip is to add some rum in the filling, I did not do it mostly because I do not have a rum bottle in the kitchen at the moment.
In Trieste, as in Germany or Austria strudel slices are served warm and often accompanied with custard, cream or vanilla ice cream. I love it with ice cream.
STRUCOLO DE POMI
for the filling:
800 g apples
zest and juice of a lemon
50 g caster sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
50 g sultana
50 g pine nuts
1 tablespoon of rum (optional)
for the pastry:
250 g 00 flour
100 g caster sugar
100 g butter
Put the sultanas in a glass and cover with hot water. Leave to rest for 10 minutes. Peel, core and cut the apples in quarters then cut each quarter in thin slices. Put the slices in a pan with the juice and the zest of one lemon. Add the cinnamon and cook for ten minutes. Then add the sugar, dried sultanas, the pine nuts and rum (if you are using it) and cook for another 10 minutes until the apple slices are soft and golden. Leave it to cool completly.
To make the pastry. Sift the flour on a working surface, make an hole in the middle of the soft mountain, this in Italian is called “to make a fountain”. In the centre of the hole put the egg, sugar and melted butter, a pinch of salt and a drop of water. Mix the ingredients with you hands and knead until you have obtained an elastic dough. Do not overmix. Leave it to rest in the fridge for half and hour.
Preheat the oven to 220C. Roll the pastry on the working surface using a rolling pin until you have obtained a really thin and roughly rectangular shape. Place the filling on 2/3 of the pastry leaving the edges empty. Brush the edges with some melted butter and roll up the pastry into a sausage shape. Keep the filling in place as you roll. Squeeze the open edges together to seal the filling inside and brush the surface with butter. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes, until the pastry is golden and crispy. Dust with icing sugar and serve warm. Enjoy.