- 750g/1lb 10oz apples, peeled, cored, quartered and sliced - Cookers or desert apples can be used
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 unwaxed lemon, zest only
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 100g/3½oz golden caster sugar - if using cooking apples this quantity. I used Desert (eating) apples and used NO added sugar
- 75g/2½oz raisins
- 95g/3½oz butter
- 40g/1½oz white breadcrumbs
- 6 large sheets filo pastry
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
- Mix the apples with the cinnamon, lemon zest and juice, sugar (if using) and raisins. In a small frying pan, melt 20g/¾oz butter and fry the breadcrumbs until golden-brown, then add to the apple mixture.
- Melt the remaining butter in a pan. On a clean, dry tea-towel lay a sheet of the filo and brush with some of the melted butter. Lay another sheet on top and repeat until you have used all of the filo.
- Pile the filling along the length of the pastry along one side about 2-3cm/1in from the edge and using the tea-towel to help you, roll the pastry up to enclose the filling. Tuck the ends in and roll seam-side down onto the lined baking sheet. Brush with the remaining melted butter.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden-brown. Leave to cool to room temperature and dust with icing sugar. Slice and serve with cream, ice cream or custard.
Well if ever there was something I tried as a result of "something in the air" then this is it. The youngest offspring were watching the Sound of Music - it was a miserable cold January day (definitely not one of my Favourite Things) and they were cuddled up together watching it. On came that song "raindrops on roses..." and on the menu was "schnitzel with noodles and warm apple strudels". Planted a seed.
About the same time the BBC was repeating Rick Stein's most recent series "long Weekends" and they had just shown the one on Vienna - and guess what he ate, and then went on to cook - yup Apple Strudel! Not a coincidence I was sure by now. Incidentally, I am a great fan of Rick Stein as a television journalist/cook (not that you asked...) He has reached that age where he is comfortable in his own skin, and really seems to be enjoying himself. He is intelligent, reads books but doesn't push it down your throat - just uses his knowledge to illuminate what he is talking about. Really good TV, and also insightful about food and open to new experiences. His series Venice to Istanbul was a typical example, and well worth catching if you can. My only slight concern is there seems to be a slight melancholy air about them, as if he is saying goodbye to things of his youth. But I guess I am overthinking it...
So I also had a fruitbowl which is probably typical of many - the Offspring tend to reject any apples that have bruises or are showing any wrinkles - and they tend to accumulate in the bowl over time. I hate throwing away food which is still perfectly edible, so the idea occurred that Strudel would be a way of using up these cosmetically imperfect, but otherwise perfectly fine, eating apples. They are obviously sweeter than the cooking apples found in (for example) Stein's recipe, so added sugar would need adjusting (another advantage of using them) which is what I did - and the result was still gorgeous. Serve with cream/creme fraiche/ice cream or custard to suit and enjoy. Incidentally I served this cool as Stein suggests, the Offspring said it should have been warm - so next time - or is that just Julie Andrews they are channeling?