Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Apple Strudel, in memory of Germany

I love Germany.
I traveled central Europe this past summer for a month and I spend more time in Germany than other countries. I love the people, their schnitzels and sausages, their castles, and of course, their autobahn.
People were generous and kind, the food was rustic, and there were soccer fever everywhere I went. My heart was with them whenever I heard the sound of horn blowing in the valley. I wanted Germany to win for the World Cup.

The only hardest part for me there was finding bottled water without the "gas".  Most plastic bottled water were carbonated, and for me, it tasted bad. Sorry!
Summer in Germany was beautiful and I shall go back there again...

Here are some highlights.

 The Neuschwanstein castle

 The band at the salt museum in Berchtesgaden

 My favorite German castle, the Linderhof.

An old church built in 13th century in a small town called Haschbach.
Now used as a restaurant, quite famous among locals.
They have the best schnitzel I've ever eaten in Germany.

The schnitzel with rahm sauce.
It is cream sauce over pork cutlet.

The proud young chef named "J" who made the dish for us.
He shared with me how he makes the sauce.
So, someday I shall try.

A lovely town called Gengenbach.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

My favorite Christmas shop in the world.
I am a little Christmas fanatic...

Famous spot for picture taking

Beautiful houses...


Getting ready for the cruise on Rhine river

and I guess the river cruise was not 7 year old boy thing...

A lady at Vogtsbauernhof weaving bracelet
Gutach open air museum.

Typical Black forest house in the 18th century

Picturesque town in Black Forest

Titisi lake

Ugh, the sibling fight...
Don't we all have the similar experience?

Another memorable dish.
Pork with wild mushroom over spatzel

My favorite dessert in Black forest was not the black forest cake.
It was the apple strudel.

Oh, my...
I fell in love with this.
Warm cinnamon spiced apples in a flaky crust...
It made me to loose my interest in American apple pie.

So I have been searching for a recipe.
Library comes handy to look for unusual cookbooks.
Well, If you want to make this in authentic way of German/Austrian style,
It is quite of work, I learned.
You need to roll out the dough into a very thin layer.
It has to be translucent enough to read newspaper behind it.
You can not do this on the counter top.
You will need a dining table.
Some people use their bed sheet on top to roll the dough on it.
Of course, it has to be a clean one...

I am lacking energy to do all the work of rolling and stretching,
unless David Hasselhoff comes to my place for dinner.
But he must bring his knight rider along...

So I decide to cheat and do easier way;
The store bought Puff pastry!

This is how I made.

I used golden delicious and cortland apples.
Puff pastry, brown sugar, white sugar, flour, walnut, bread crumb, 
and cinnamon is all you need.
One egg with a little bit of water for brushing.

 I like to chop my apples in 1/2" cubes,

 mix in with sugar, flour, and cinnamon.
I use Vietnamese cinnamon. Simply the best! 

 Let it sit for 20 min, so they can release their juices.

 Chop the walnuts, or ground them if you prefer.
If you don't like walnuts you can use almonds, or omit them.

 Mix the nut with sugars, and bread crumbs.

 Roll the pastry to stretch out, about 10"x12".
Make sure your pastry is well thawed in the room temperature.

 Sprinkle the nut mixture half way and place apples on top.

 Lift up the front side and cover the apples,

  and start rolling.

Seam sides down and pinch the ends.

Place them on the baking sheet with parchment paper on.

Brush with egg wash to create beautiful golden crust.

 Make some slits for the steam to escape.

Bake at 375ºF for 40-45minutes.
 The flaky crust with soft apple filling.... 

I enjoyed my warm strudel with a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream,
relaxing in sofa listening to words of wise men.
thanked Germany
for the sweet memories of last summer.

Guten Appetit!

Apple Strudel
(makes two logs)
6-8 servings

1 package of puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed in room temperature
2-3 baking apples (I use golden delicious and cortland)
1/2tsp cinnamon
2Tb whit sugar
2Tb flour
1/2C chopped or ground nuts, walnut or almond
3Tb light brown sugar
2Tb white sugar
2Tb bread crumbs
1 egg with 1tsp water beaten for brushing 
Preheat you oven to 375ºF.
Peel, core, and chop apples into 1/2" cubes. You will need total 2 cups of chopped apples.
Place them in a bowl and add cinnamon, white sugar, and flour. Set aside for 20 minutes so they can release the juices. 

In another bowl combine nuts, sugars, and bread crumbs. Set aside.

Roll out one sheet of pastry into about 10"x12". Sprinkle 1/2 of nut mixture on the pastry covering halfway and place 1/2 of apples on top. Lift up the front side of pastry and cover the apple and start rolling all the way. Finish the other sheet in the same method. 
Pinch the ends of each logs and tuck under. Transfer them on to baking sheet with parchment paper on it, seam side down.
Brush the top with egg wash. Make a few slits on top for the steam to escape.
Bake at 375F for 40-45 minutes until the crust gets nicely golden brown.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and/or whipped cream. Enjoy!


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