Apple Strudel ►
Chef John Caluda has added some special touches to his apple strudel, such as the brown butter used to brush the pastry, giving it extra flavor and a head start on browning. If you don’t have time to make your own strudel dough, use fresh or thawed frozen phyllo.
- Strudel Dough
- Bread Flour - 2-2 1/2 Cups
- Salt - 1 teaspoon
- Warm Water - 1 cup, 105 – 115 F
- Apple Filling
- Brandy - 1 cup
- Raisins - 1/2 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 2 cups (4 sticks)
- Apples - 10
- Lemon Juice - 1 lemon
- Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Granulated Sugar - 1-1/2 cups
- Brown Sugar - 1/4 cup packed
- Honey - 1/2 cup
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1/2 cup
- Cinnamon - 1/2 teaspoon, ground
- Bread Crumbs - 1 cup, dried, white (alt. cake crumbs)
- Vanilla - 1 teaspoon
- Nuts - 1/2 cup, finely chopped
- Egg - 1, beaten
- Fruit Sauce
- Seasonal Fruit - 2 cups, peeled, diced
- Sugar to taste
- Confectioner’s Sugar - sifted, for dusting
- Vanilla Ice Cream - (optional)
To make the strudel: Place the flour and salt in a heavy-duty mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the warm water and beat with a dough hook for 10 to 12 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, rub lightly with oil, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, warm the brandy in a small saucepan and add the raisins; set aside. In a medium saucepan, melt 1-1/2 cups of the butter and cook over low heat until the butter turns a light brown; set aside. Peel and core the apples and slice them 1/4 inch thick. Place the apples in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice. Strain the raisins, reserving both the raisins and the brandy.
Heat a large saute pan or skillet and add the oil and remaining 1/2 cup butter. Cook over medium-high heat until the mixture sizzles and starts to turn brown. Add three-fourths of the apples and saute for 3 minutes. Add the sugars and honey. Stir over medium heat until the liquid from the apples evaporates and begins to caramelize. Be careful not to burn. Add the reserved brandy and heat. Avert your face, light the brandy with a long match, and shake the pan until the flames subside. Add the heavy cream, cinnamon, vanilla, and raisins to the pan and cook over medium heat until thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the reserved apples. Drain in a sieve, reserving the liquid. Let the apples cool.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lay a tablecloth on a table at least 24 inches square. Dust with flour. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin to a small rectangle. If the dough feels tough, cover it with plastic and let rest for 15 more minutes, then proceed. Start pulling the sides of the dough in opposite directions from each other, working all areas of the dough. When the dough starts to get very thin, slip the backs of your hands underneath the dough. Stretch the dough until it is thin enough to see through and hangs several feet over the edges of the table. Trim off the thick edges and brush the dough with the cooled brown butter. Sprinkle with the bread or cake crumbs and nuts.
Spread the apple mixture on the top third of the dough. Use the tablecloth to roll the strudel up like a jelly roll, first brushing any dough that was hanging off the table with crumbs and nuts. Seal the ends and place on a baking sheet. Brush with butter and let sit for 10 minutes. Brush with beaten egg and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden. Let cool.
To make the fruit sauce: Puree the diced fruit in a food processor or food mill. Strain the puree through a fine-meshed sieve. Stir in sugar to taste. Put the sauce in a squeeze bottle.
To serve: Slice the strudel on an angle and dust with confectioner’s sugar. Drizzle fruit sauce over the plates and place a slice of strudel on each. Optionally, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream.