Just as easy as delicious. Strudel is a very popular pastry in Central – Europe, both the sweet and the savoury versions. For me, it’s a comfort food and also the manifestation of a Sunday lunch at my Grandparents. My Grandma made the pastry all by herself, even when it was already available in the supermarkets. I don’t have the skills or the time, therefore I just bought filo pastry sheets, so it takes very little time to prepare this delicious dessert, around 40-50 minutes from scratch.
6 filo pastry sheets (for 2 strudels)
6 medium apples (not too sweet apples work better, they add a fine tanginess), peeled and chopped
100g roughly grounded or chopped walnuts
150g dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp of vanilla essence
splash of lemon juice
50g unsalted butter
First, prepare the filling. (Oh yes. Preheat the oven too. 180C worked for me.) Peel, core and chop the apples and place them in a mixing bowl. Add walnuts, sugar, vanilla essence and cinnamon. Add half a lemon’s juice. Mix well. Taste the mixture and add some more sugar if you prefer it sweeter.
Take the filo pastry out of the fridge NOW. You don’t want the filo go warm and soggy. Melt the butter and lay your first sheet of filo out on a clean tea towel. Brush with melted butter. Top with the second sheet, brush with butter and add the third sheet. Lay out another clean tea towel and repeat the procedure with the other three sheets. Be generous with the butter, it will create a fluffy, crunchy pastry.
Arrange the mixture in the middle of the pastry leaving 2-3 cm on both ends for folding. First fold these ends up then roll it into a log. Line a baking tray with baking sheets or grease paper and gently transfer your strudels over. You might find that you need two baking trays, I was ok using just one. Bake them for 25 mins, or until the pastry is golden brown and crisp. Serve it warm.