This German apple strudel is lightly sweet and has a delicious apple flavor from the mixture of several varieties of apples. This recipe uses 2 puff pastries to make 2 apple strudels. I like to serve this with German Pretzel Rolls , German Spaetzle, and GermanSauerbraten.
Knife or peeler or Apple Peeler/Corer
Grater for nutmeg
¼ cup measuring cup
Small bowl for bread crumbs
Large bowl for spices and apples
Large bowl to drain apples
Wire rack\Cutting board
Knife to cut strudel ( chef’s knife or serrated knife)
Flat baking pan
Grocery store items (by location where I find them)
List of Ingredients to Purchase
2 ¾ pounds of several different kinds of medium baking apples ( about 7 medium apples)
Spice / sugar/flour section
light brown sugar
powdered sugar (optional for dusting the strudel at the end)
Puff pastry (usually in the frozen section with pies)
Speciality food store items
( international market, Whole Foods, …)
1 Tablespoon Spiced rum
Brown the bread crumbs.
1 ½ teaspoons unsalted butter
¼ teaspoon sugar
Tear bread slices into small pieces and place in the ¼ cup measuring cup until the bread crumbs are about level with the top of the cup. Place the butter into the frying pan. Heat over medium heat and cook until the butter is melted. Add the bread crumbs, sprinkle with the sugar, and stir constantly for a few minutes until the bread crumbs are a golden brown. Turn off heat. Place the bread crumbs into a small bowl.
Prepare spice mixture.
1 Tablespoon Spiced rum
½ Cup light brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teapoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
Using a grater, grate the whole nutmeg until you have ¼ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg. The freshly grated nutmeg will taste stronger that powdered nutmeg.
Place the ¼ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg into a large bowl. To measure the light brown sugar, use a 1/2 cup measuring cup and pack the brown sugar into the cup pressing it down with a spoon, and then level it off with a knife. Brown sugar must be packed down to measure correctly. Add the ½ Cup light brown sugar, , 1 Tablespoon Spiced rum, 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Use real vanilla extract, not the artificial vanilla flavor. I like to use Madagascar vanilla. It is about 2 times stronger than normal vanilla. If you use Madagascar vanilla, only use 1/2 teaspoon ). Mix all of these ingredients together.
Next peel and slice the apples.
Make sure to slice the apples all about the same thickness. Do not make the slices thicker than ¼ inch.
Rinse the first apple. If you are using a paring knife, peel the apple. To slice the apple, cut the apple in half. Use a spoon or melon baller to scoop out the core(the hard part of the apple with the seeds). Slice each half into eight equal pieces. Then cut 3 to 4 slices that are ¼ inch thick or less from each of the eight pieces. As you cut each apple, place the slices into the spice mixture and mix with the spice mixture to keep the apples from turning brown. Repeat these steps with each of the remaining apples.
If you are using an apple peeler corer place it on a sturdy table or counter with paper towel underneath it. Secure it to the table. Rinse the first apple. Place the apple on the peeler corer by inserting it through the throngs steam first roughly in the middle of the apple top. Follow the safety warnings and slowly turn the apple until it reaches the end. Remove the slices from the core, break it into pieces. Take a paring knife and cut off any remaining pieces of peel and core that stayed on the slices. If the apple did not peel and core correctly, use a paring knife to finish peeling and slicing the apple. As you cut each apple, place the slices into the spice mixture and mix with the spice mixture to keep the apples from turning brown. Repeat these steps with each of the remaining apples.
Next macerate the apples.
Let the apples macerate for thirty minutes. (Macerate means to soak in the spice mixture and in their own juices in order to soak in the flavor of the spices.) While they are macerating, take the puff pastry out of the freezer.
Drain the apples.
Place the colander over the large bowl.
Once the apples are done macerating put them in the colander that is over or inside the bowl and let all the liquid drain out. Make sure that is enough space so that the liquid is not touching the apples in the colander.
Reduce the liquid.
Liquid from apples.
Place the drained liquid small saucepan and put the apples back in the bowl. Put the saucepan on medium heat. Stir until it’s fourth the quantity and very bubbly with an almost caramel like texture. Once it is done pour it over the apples. Stir until it is well incorporated.
Assemble the strudel.
Flat baking pan
Take the 2 puff pastries out of their wrapper and let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Build each strudel by using the following steps. Open up the puff pastry and place it on a piece of parchment paper that is about 14 inches long. Push together the seams of puff pastry until they are together again. Using a rolling pin, roll out the pastry up and down and left and right making sure to keep a rectangle shape. Place about one half of the apples on the botton half of the puff pastry, making sure to leave an edge about 1 inch all around where there are no apples. Only place the apples on the bottom half of the pastry, and make sure that you leave enough space so that the top part of the pastry can completely cover the apples and the edges of the bottom half of the pastry. If liquid has developed in the apples, drain the apples before placing onto the puff pastry. Place some of the bread crumbs on top of the apples. Fold the top of the puff pastry over onto the bottom part of the pastry that has the apples. Press the edges closed by rocking the tongs of a fork onto the overlapping edges to seal the strudel. Cut about 3 or 4 slits in the top of the strudel to let steam escape. The strudel can be wrapped in plastic wrap and placed in the refrigerator overnight. Repeat above steps for the second strudel.
Place the top rack of the oven at its highest level, making sure that the pan with the strudel will fit on the rack.
About 1 hour before you need the strudel, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Let it stay at 400 degrees for 20 minutes before you add the strudel. Place the pan with the strudel onto the top rack of the oven.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. If the top of the strudel is still pale, bake for 5 to 8 minutes until the strudel is golden brown. Remove the strudel from the oven.
Chef’s knife or serrated knife
Powdered sugar optional.
Place the powdered sugar into a strainer and sprinkle it lightly over the strudel if you desire. Place the cutting board next to the strudel pan. Since the strudel is on parchment paper, just carefully (without burning yourself) slide the parchment paper witih the apple strudel from the pan to the cutting board that is right beside the pan. Cut the strudel into 2 inch pieces. Serve hot. Vanilla ice cream goes well with the strudel also.