Strudel “all’Italiana”

Apple strudel (strudel di mele) is a very popular kind of cake in the North of  Italy. This delicious and rich food comes from Austria and during the domination of  the Austro-Hungarian Empire ruling in the 19th century, the recipe became popular in the regions of Italy (North East) subjected to the Emperor’s power.

In Trentino Alto Adige, a region of Italy which many of its inhabitants learn and speak German alongside Italian, thanks to its cultural bound with Austria, is the  symbol of this fab cake, at least in Italy. The recipe includes raisins, pine kernels, cinnamon and probably it is coming from  the Middle East culinary tradition. Is it not  interesting that the strudel has some affinities with the Turkish “Baklava”? In Austria the recipe probably arrived between the 16th and 17th centuries, thanks to the huge Turkish invasions that took place in East Europe.

How to prepare this delicious pastry? You need a ready rolled puff pastry sheet,  100 ml of dark rum, 4 juicy apples, 60 g  raisins, squeezed juice from half a lemon, 60 g of pine kernels, 50 g of sugar, 50 g of apricot preserve, 10 g of butter, 30 g  of breadcrumbs, orange zest from one orange, 2 g  of ground cinnamon, 1 egg yolk, 15 ml of milk.

You can also make the strudel using filo pastry

And now the directions: first of all, remember to soak the raisins into the glass of rum, at least 1 hour before you start cooking. Use a sieve and separate the raisins from the rum. Then put the raisins into a small ball or glass and set aside. Do not throw away the rum: 2 or 3 dessert spoons will be added to the strudel filling.

Peel and slice the apples into small slices and put it into a large bowl, adding some lemon juice. Add the raisins.

Now add also the pine kernels, the orange zest, the cinnamon, the sugar, the apricot preserve. Mix together and distribute the various ingredients and, to top it all, add 2 or 3 dessert spoons of rum!

Cover up the bowl with sufficient cling film and set it aside in the fridge until you are ready to use it as filling.

Put the butter into a pan (over a medium heat) and after a while, add the breadcrumbs. Toast for few minutes until lightly brown. Put the breadcrumbs into a small bowl to cool down and spread some flour onto a working surface. Unroll your pastry and start stretching it with a rolling pin.

Next, spread the breadcrumbs over the pastry sheet and also your filling. Fold it and roll it gently. Put the egg yolk into a small bowl and add the milk. Beat the egg yolk and milk with a fork until they are mixed. Brush the egg batter all over the strudel. Put all in the oven at 180ºC (gas mark 5).

One Response to “Strudel “all’Italiana””

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