Hi my name is Lu, here at Monty’s I am the office manager and assistant to finance and directors – clearly, you could tell I have fingers in too many pies. Or strudels, as the case may be today, as I have been given a bag of gorgeously smelling apples , which would be a sin not to turn into something to warm up the body and soul in this autumnal weather. (And yes, I hear you, I can go for a run to warm up, but it’s not quite the same, is it??)
So myself and my two very helpful children made a classic dessert – apple, cinnamon and chocolate strudel.
This is a really nice and simple recipe- and shouldn’t take more than an hour to do (although you many need to add an extra 30-45 minutes per each child taking part).
You will need…
200g of 00 (that’s double zero) pastry flour
1 egg yolk
100 ml water
5-6 Cooking apples
A pinch of salt (not in the picture)
200 g of sugar (this is a rough guide, taste your apples first-if they are tart, add a bit more, then work out later)
150g of melted butter
Cinnamon, chocolate, raisins, nuts -filling possibilities are endless!
First, mix the flour, salt, egg yolk and water together to form a dough – Little fingers come in handy here; I take a break before the hard part: kneading. The rule of the thumb is that the more you knead it, the easier it will be to work with later on. I like to see this part as a bit like cycling up the Trundle- when you feel like you simply can’t go anymore, the dough will be ready (admittedly, I only attempted this cycle ride once- it turned into a nice walk…!)
I suppose you could put it into one of those all-singing-all-dancing kitchen mixers; but this is my grandma’s recipe and of course they had no such things in her days; besides, I wouldn’t want her to come and haunt me for even suggesting such a sacrilege.
After this work out, let your muscles relax: peel and grate apples- or let keen helpers get involved. I tend to gently remind my kids that they need to bear in mind that their fingers will not re-grow if they shred them – they never have done so far.
While the grating is in progress, I roll out the dough- nice and thin to 1mm. “Paint” with melted butter and roll up. Divide into half, and let one rest.
Roll the first half of dough to a thickness of 1mm again, and paint with melted butter.
NOTE: make sure the dough is as only as wide or a bit narrower as your baking sheet or else the strudel’s feet will stick out!
Top with grated apples (if they are grated by this stage) and sprinkle over the sugar, cinnamon, and possibly raisins. I grated (generously) around a 1/3 of a chocolate bar – but only because I was too lazy to melt and drizzle it. Hide the chocolate bar to make sure there is some left for the second strudel roll.
Roll into a roll and transfer onto baking sheet.
Repeat the whole process again with the second half of your dough.
Brush generously with butter and bake in preheated oven for around 40 minutes on 180C.
Done!! (Well, apart from the washing up)
Now, this marries just as nicely with a steaming mug of hot chocolate, as with a glass of wine -although I do try to hold off the alcohol until at least the cake is in the oven.