Some clichés are clichés for a reason. This here is certainly one of them. While you think Appel Strudel on a site featuring Viennese food is almost sketchy, you may want to start thinking of why any tourist returning from Vienna talks about this treat. In the end, I think it would be just awfully impolite not to share this outstanding piece of dessert with you. Hell, it took Austria at least two dynasties of decadent monarchs to come up with delicious treats like that while ignoring things like international relations and world politics. It would be a shame if this would go to waste then.
Telling the story of how to recreate this Viennese marvel dish is kind of a challenge though, as it necessarily means picking from an awful lot of recipe variations developed over the years. So I’ll go with a source you can never be wrong: Found in an old family recipe book in my grandmothers kitchen. However, my granny is a down-to-earth person, and therefore, she would always take some shortcuts. For example, she would never brush the stretched dough with melted butter – no, of course not, that would be way too much work. Still, I have to insist, not to skip this step as the melted butter separates the thin layers of dough and yields in a super flaky crust. So here you go. Enjoy this classic Li’l Vienna recipe!
How to make an Apple Strudel step by step
1. Make the dough
Combine all dough ingredients and knead the dough until smooth for about 10 minutes. Slam the dough onto the worksurface a few times to enhance gluten development, yielding a very elastic dough. Shape the dough into a smooth ball. Brush a clean bowl with oil, put the dough into the bowl and brush it with oil (you can do this with your fingers). Let it rest for 1 hour covered with cling wrap or make it up to 3 days ahead and keep it in the fridge.
2. Prepare the filling
The filling consits of buttered breadcrumbs mixed with sugar and cinnamon, melted butter for brushing, sliced apples and soaked raisins.
3. Roll out the dough
Roll out the dough on a clean, lightly floured surface. Flour the surface and the dough every now and then while rolling.
4. Streching the dough
When the dough gets about 13-15 inch in diameter pick it up then use the back of your hands, particularly your knuckles, to stretch it (remove all sharp jewelry first). This way you can straighten the dough like a pizza. When the dough gets bigger and thinner, and thus difficult to handle, put it down.
The dough sheet should be paper-thin. Be careful not to tear it.
Can you read the word on the slip of paper under the dough?
5. Spread the breadcrumbs
Brush one half of the stretched dough with melted butter, spread the butter-sugar breadcrumbs on the other side.
6. Spread the apples
Cut off thick ends. Spread the apple-raisin-filling over the breadcrumbs – leaving 1 to 1 ½ inch to the edge.
7. Prepare the dough for rolling
Fold in the sides so the filling won’t get lost during rolling.
8. Rolling the dough
Roll the dough over the filling, starting at the apple-topped end, lifting the filling’s weight with the cloth.
9. Roll dough onto a sheet of parchment paper
Roll the dough carefully onto a sheet of parchment paper, seam-side down.
10. Brush the strudel with melted butter
Put the dough onto a baking sheet and brush it with melted butter.
11. Bake the strudel
Put the strudel in the middle of the preheated oven and bake it for ½ hour at 375 °F. Let it cool slightly, cut into pieces and dust with confectioner’s sugar.
Did you follow this recipe? You could share your result here. All you need to do is take a picture with your smartphone and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org User Hilal followed the recipe (picture left): "I've had Apple Strudel many times, but this is the first time I baked one myself. It turned out great, served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. Definitely baking it again!"
User Dr. Filippa Viola: "After much research I stumbled upon your recipe and we made it tonite to our sheer delight. Our house might be in New England but our kitchen smells like a cafe on the kartnerstrasse! It is a definite star and I will be making it again and again to remind us of what a glorious place Vienna is!"
Luisa tried out the recipe: "Thanks for your well written recipe. I used Calvados to soak my own raisins and made half a recipe for a Test Run. I think I'll use a bit more sugar next time. 30 minutes baking time was right on for mine." Click to enlarge.
User Paul: "The dough was very nice to work with, though i could have used twice the amount. Used the rolling pin instead of my hands. No problems at all. Tasty and flaky. Will make it again for christmas."
User James F. made Li'l Vienna's apple strudel with a great outcome!
Esmeralda: "Hi LilVienna 😊, just made the apple strudel and it was amazing ❤️.
I'm so glad I found your recipe. It didn't come out as pretty as yours as the dough was very flaky and fragile once baked, nevertheless the taste was spot-on.
There is a reason why tradition is followed, it's tried and tested over the years.
Thank you so much for the inspiration and the real strudel recipe!"