As I mentioned in a prior post, the food of Trentino-Alto Adige closely resembles the cuisine of Austria and Germany. This is again demonstrated in the classic dessert of the region: apple strudel. This dish is traditionally Austrian, but can be found all over the region of Trentino-Alto Adige. Strudel di mele in Italian, this dish is warm and homey and delicious.
However, making this dish from scratch did give me a lot of trouble. To make it correctly, you must have dough that is stretched to an extreme thinness. It would have been much easier to buy either refrigerated dough, or to use phyllo dough. Instead, I tried to make my own dough. Though it came out fine, when I tried to roll it out I didn't get the desired thickness. Instead of a thin crust on my apple strudel, I ended up with portions that were much thicker and doughier than it is meant to be. In fact, my attempt was such a stray from what an apple strudel is supposed to be that I am not even going to include a picture. It's not that I'm embarrassed at how it turned out, it's that I don't want anyone to scan this post and think that the picture of my apple strudel is how theirs should look. Instead, I will point you to Academia Barilla, which has great step by step pictures of how to make apple strudel.
The good news is that even if your apple strudel doesn't look like it should, the combination of apples, cinnamon, sugar, rum and raisins is still killer.
Apple Strudel (Strudel di Mele)
Adapted from Academia Barilla
Puff pastry sheet or homemade dough (see below for instructions)
2 pounds Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup raisins
4 ounces dark Rum
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sliced almonds (or pine nuts or walnuts)
For homemade dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups lukewarm water
1 teaspoon salt
- If making your own dough, mix the flour, water and salt together in a large bowl. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Form into a ball and knead for about 8 minutes. Let the dough sit, covered, for 30 minutes.
- Peel and slice apples thinly. Soak the raisins in the rum for about 1/2 hour. Pat dry.
- In a large bowl, mix the apples, sugar, cinnamon, almonds, and raisins.
- Whether using homemade dough or a puff pastry sheet, roll out the dough to about 2 mm thick. The dough should be so thick that you can see the table through it.
- Put the apple filling on top of the dough. Gently roll the strudel up like a jelly roll. Prick the strudel with a fork. Brush with butter and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake on a prepared cookie sheet at 425 degrees for 40 minutes.
Ryan's rating of Apple Strudel - 3. I think we both agree on this one. It was a nice change of pace, but we're both apple crisp people at heart.