How To Make Apfelstrudel Like You’re From Austria

Apfelstrudel recipe

Apfelstrudel via RitaE/Pixabay

By food blogger Julia Zeitlhuber

The strudel gained popularity during Habsburg empire from 1278-1780. Today, apfelstrudel — or, as Americans know it, apple strudel — is known as one of Austria’s most traditional pastries. No-one can visit Vienna without indulging in a piece of this delicious dessert in one of the city’s historic cafes.

As a child in Austria, I always helped my mother and grandmother in the kitchen preparing apfelstrudel, among other traditional Austrian dishes such as schnitzel. Before making the dish we’d go for long walks, and my sister and I would pick apples from the trees for the recipe. The smell alone takes me back to her tiny kitchen, with her big wood-fired oven.

It was always a big deal to make the strudel rather than purchasing a pre-made afternoon coffee cake. The preparation of the dough took a day, though the work made savoring each bite even more special. In this dish the dough is very thin and elastic, which means handling it while baking should be done with caution.

Check out this #delicious authentic #Austrian apfelstrudel #recipe! Click To Tweet

It works like this: first the dough is rolled out on a table and then stretched until it reaches the consistency and thinness of phyllo. My grandma would say: “It is perfect when you can read a newspaper through it.” The goal is to make it large enough so that the ends hang down on the kneading table. You can imagine how careful we had to be with our little hands to not rip the dough. That being said, the more challenging task was to roll the strudel with the filling inside.

Once done, we had to transfer it onto the baking tray. It’s a lot of work, but apfelstrudel is so worth the challenge. I have lived in Australia, Switzerland and currently in Canada, and no matter how far I travel I always make my grandmother’s apfelstrudel recipe. It is one of the most comforting foods on earth to me, especially on a cold winter day.

And now you can make it too, with my grandmother’s recipe below.

Austrian Apfelstrudel Recipe

Dough

  • 150g wheat flour
  • 75ml water lukewarm
  • 25g vegetable oil
  • 1 pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a kitchen machine and knead for 30 seconds
  2. Brush some neutral vegetable oil on a sheet of cling film
  3. Wrap dough in oiled cling film
  4. Put into the fridge for 2 hours or overnight
  5. Once set, take out the dough
  6. Roll out the dough on a clean, lightly floured surface (like a tablecloth)
  7. When the dough gets about 13-15 inch in diameter use the back of your hands, particularly your knuckles, to stretch it
  8. When the dough gets bigger and thinner, and thus difficult to handle, put it down
  9. The goal is to stretch it across the entire table

Crumbs

  • 65g breadcrumbs
  • 50g cold butter
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla sugar
  • 1 tbsp. ground almonds
  • 1 tbsp. ground hazelnuts
  • 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients (aside for cinnamon) in a food processor (or by hand) until butter is well incorporated
  2. Spread on a baking sheet and bake 10-15min at 170°C until golden; stir a few times in between
  3. Take out and add cinnamon

Apples:

  • 350g apples (sour)
  • lemon juice
  • 2cl rum
  • 25g raisins (soak in rum overnight)
  • 40g granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 50g melted butter

Directions:

  1. Cut apples into eighths
  2. Remove the apple core
  3. Cut eighths into smaller pieces
  4. Add all ingredients (aside for butter)
  5. Drizzle some butter over dough
  6. Spread crumbs on the bottom third of the dough
  7. Spread the apple-raisin-filling over the breadcrumbs; leave 1 to 1 ½ inch to the edge
  8. Fold in sides of the dough
  9. Roll the dough over the filling (start at the apple-topped end; lift the filling’s weight with the cloth)
  10. Once rolled to the end, roll the dough carefully onto a sheet of parchment paper
  11. Put onto a baking tray and brush strudel’s surface with rest of butter
  12. Bake at 190C for 25-30mins
  13. Dust with some icing sugar

If you try this apfelstrudel recipe at home please let us know how it goes in the comments below! 

About Julie Zeitlhuber

Julie is a scientist and food lover who holds a Master’s Degree in Nutritional Science from the University of Vienna. She lived in Melbourne, worked at the WHO in Geneva and currently pursues a career as a nutritionist in Vancouver, BC. Different countries and their food cultures inspire her, which has led her to found Ready to Nourish. You can find follow her food adventures on Facebook.

1 Comment

  1. Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your website? My website is in the very same niche as yours and my visitors would genuinely benefit from a lot of the information you provide here. Please let me know if this alright with you. Many thanks!|

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *