Italian Apple Strudel Recipe | Strudel di Mele
Strudel doesn’t seem like a very Italian recipe, but it was born along the Austrian border (where Italians speak a German-influenced dialect) and it’s quite possible that this classic dessert was invented in the Boot! In any case, it’s very popular amongst northern Italians and considered a fundamental recipe in the Alps.
The taste is similar to an apple pie, but we think that the filling brings a whole new dimension with less sugar and the addition of raisins, pine nuts, bread crumbs and amaretti cookies. Try it and let us know what you think!
Which Apples Should I Use to Make Strudel?
It’s really up to you! Eva usually makes strudel with Stark or Honey Crisp, but feel free to use Granny Smith if you want more of a sour bite.
Watch the Pasta Grammar video:
STRUDEL DI MELE RECIPE
Makes: One 9-inch (23 cm) pie
Cook Time: 2 hours
For this recipe, you will need:
½ cup (80 g) raisins, or to taste
1 ⅔ cups (200 g) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
A pinch of salt
⅓ cup (75ml) water
3 ½ tablespoons (50 g) vegetable oil
1 ½ pounds (680 g) apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes
A pinch of ground cloves
1 tablespoon (8 g) cinnamon, or to taste
3 ½ tablespoons (40 g) brown sugar, or to taste
⅓ cup (50 g) pine nuts, or to taste
½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) rum extract
¼ cup (30 g) dry bread crumbs
5-7 amaretti cookies, crushed
3 ½ tablespoons (50 g) unsalted butter
1 egg, whisked
Powdered sugar for topping
Whipped cream or vanilla gelato for serving (optional)
Submerge the raisins in warm water and let them soak while you make the dough.
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, water and vegetable oil. Mix together by hand until a rough dough forms, then transfer to a work surface and knead until it is smooth and even. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
While the dough rests, you can prepare the stuffing. In a pot, combine the cubed apples, ground cloves, cinnamon and brown sugar. Cook over medium/low heat, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes or until the apples have released some water. Drain the apples and transfer into a mixing bowl.
Drain the raisins and squeeze out the excess moisture. Add them, along with the pine nuts and rum extract, into the apples. Mix together thoroughly.
After the dough has rested for 30 minutes, roll it out into a large circle with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface. If the dough sticks, dust it as needed with more flour. The dough should be very thin, enough to make it slightly transparent. Transfer the dough sheet onto a large kitchen towel, which will help to roll the strudel up.
Preheat the oven to 355°F (180°C). If the following filling and folding technique seems confusing, check out the video above to see the technique in action!
Spread the bread crumbs in a big strip through the center of the dough circle. The strip should be about hand width, leading from the closet edge of the dough to you toward the farthest edge. Evenly spread the apple filling on top of the bread crumbs, leaving about 3 inches (7.5 cm) of dough free at the edges of the circle. Sprinkle the crushed amaretti cookies over the apples.
Take the edges of the dough circle that the apples touch and fold them inward over the filling. Now fold the left-hand side of the dough circle tightly over the apple filling. Tuck and press it down so that it completely covers the filling, then trim off any excess dough that overlaps the right half of the dough circle.
Next, fold the remaining dough flap tightly over the filling. Using the towel to help, carefully flip the whole strudel upside down, rolling it from left to right. Trim off any excess dough that might be sticking out from under the bottom. Carefully transfer the strudel to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Melt the butter in a small saucepan or in the microwave and brush it evenly over the strudel dough.
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush the dough with the whisked egg. Bake for an additional 20 minutes or until the crust is golden. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with powdered sugar and topped with a scoop of whipped cream or vanilla gelato.
In the mood for more Italian apple desserts? Torta di Mele di Sant'Orfeo is a simple and delicious apple cake: a must-try!