They say humility is a virtue, and I suppose that’s true. And then there is Apple Strudel. When it comes to special occasions though… I admit… I do love to show off. Pretty food just tastes better. This recipe is both beautiful and delicious. There’s nothing wrong with friends and family feeding your ego while you feed their bellies.
Phyllo dough is super complicated and time consuming to make from scratch. This is one of the few exceptions to my homemade is ALWAYS better rule. The pre-made frozen phyllo dough from the store is just as good for this recipe and saves a ton of time. It can, however, be frustrating to work with unless you follow these tips.
- Thaw in the fridge overnight, the night before.
- Keep the portion not being used covered with plastic wrap. It dries out VERY quickly.
- Don’t sweat a couple tears in the dough, you’re going to use several layers. Just try to alternate where the tears are so they’re not all in the same place causing a weak spot.
Time: 1 hour plus thawing time
Try this recipe for a quiet evening at home alone.
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 2 Tbsp Cognac
- 1 stick butter
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs (homemade is best)
- 1 lb Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 medium McIntosh apple, peeled, cores, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 10 sheets phyllo 14×9 inch
- confectioner’s sugar for dusting (optional)
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 475.
- Line a 9×13 baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Simmer raisins in Cognac in small saucepan over medium heat 1-2 minutes, until liquid is mostly absorbed. Cover and set aside to cool.
- Combine 1 Tbsp butter and bread crumbs in a small skillet and toast over medium heat stirring often until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, gently toss apples, raisins, breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, salt, and lemon juice.
- Melt remaining butter.
- Using a large sheet of parchment as a work surface, place 2 sheets of phyllo next to each other, overlapping by about 1 inch.
- Brush entire surface lightly with melted butter and sprinkle with about 1/2 tsp sugar.
- Repeat 4 more times so you have used all 10 sheets. You should have a rectangle about 14×16 inches, 5 layers thick, and 2 sheets wide (overlapping by 1 inch on each layer).
- Place filling near the bottom of the phyllo and slightly spread it out leaving 2 1/2 inch border on the bottom and 2 inch border on sides.
- Fold the dough on the sides over the apples, then fold the bottom up over apples. Roll/fold the phyllo and apples up creating a rectangle package of apples wrapped up on phyllo.
- Place the apple strudel seam side down on prepared baking dish.
- Once again, brush lightly with butter and sprinkle with 1 tsp sugar.
- Cut four 2 inch crosswise slits to vent in top of strudel.
- Bake 15 minutes.
- Cool about 30 minutes.
- Dust with confectioners sugar.
This apple strudel is best served warm with plenty of fresh whipped cream. Don’t over sweeten the whipped cream (to top the apple strudel) if you make your own (which you should) so the tartness of the apples can come through.
I know I’m not the only one who shows off for special occasions. What’s your best showpiece recipe?