Apple Strudel

My friend and I decided to reenact one of the dishes we made at our cooking class. We did this at a sleepover. Here is how we made it.

This makes 2 small apple strudels or one big one. Depending on the size of your filo dough.
I made 2 small ones.

Take out a box of frozen filo dough.

Melt two sticks of butter.....
ummm thank you Paula Deen

Then peel four granny smith apples. Grannies are commonly used in desserts for their not to sweet but sturdy taste.

Take out the core and seeds. I find that by using a melon baller it gets rid of the core without taking too much of the sweet, tart felsh with it.

Then cut of the top and bottom stems. In this picture I am yet to take off the top.

Slice the apples into slices about this thick: Next cut them down the middle and toss into a bowl with lemon juice. Adding lemon juice or any citrus fruits to fruits and veggies that oxidized is a very common thing to do. I mean how often do you find a banana or avacado you just opened turn brown?? Pretty often! Therefore by throwing on a splash of citrus juice it slows down the process. However this method in baking is pretty controversial because by baking fruits like apples they will get browned anyways and all the lemon juice will do is just flavor the dessert. However I like the taste of lemon juice so I kept it in the recipe but know, that this is an ingredient you can use to your liking.

 Soak a cup of rasins in 2 tbs. warm water and  2 tbs. rum....if of age. However since we are not we just soaked it in 4 tbs. of warm water. This awakens the rasins and makes them nice and plump.

Then once soaked, add the rasins to the apples and add 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tbs. cinnamon, mix together and saute in a pan until your apples are soft but NOT overcooked and mushy because it will be cooking inside the filo dough. By cooking them ahead of time you give the apples a head start so that they won't be crunchy and not fully tender by just baking them. Also this allows the flavors to get ahead start in meeting each other.

Now take a cookie sheet lined with parachment paper and add the apples. This is to help cool down the hot apples. And just like how on a hot day you don't want to be in a crowded area spread out the apples with a wooden spoon and allow them to relax.

Now pop them in the freezer for a quick summer time cool down. Allow them to be in there for about 15 mins.

Filo dough is a pastry dough that is used commonly in the Middle Eastern and in Greek cooking and baking. The main tips on working with filo is to .....
  • Be Gentle! This dough breaks easily. However if you do get a tear here and there just try to mend it with a little bit of our first step....the melted butter!
  • Work quickly! Filo dries out easily so besides acting like a glue to hold all the flaky layers, the butter helps to keep it moist. 
THIS IS WHY YOU HAVE TO BAST EVERY BIT OF FILO WITH BUTTER. To do this use a pastry or cooking brush.
                              Add one piece of filo on to a parachment piece of paper covered table. Then add the butter. And start your process over again with another piece of filo. Do this until you have five layered filo dough pieces.

Let it sit for a couple of seconds while you get your baking sheet ready. Then take the filo and butter marriage off the parchament paper and on to the baking sheet I find that the easier way to do this is to take a knife and were you find them sticking together, lightly drag your knife along the edges to pull the edible and nonedible apart.

Put on the baking sheet and leaving about an inch of space from the end add about 1/4 cup of bread crumbs. Smoothing it out into one not to wide layer. Now I know, I know. Your probably thinking WHAT?? BREAD CRUMBS?? However they are not there for taste. They are there to kind of give support to the apples (just like humans do) and most importantly mop up their juices or tears so they don't spill out all over the place (just like humans do.) In the end you don't even taste the breadcrumbs, rather you taste the plump apples perfumed with lemon and cinnamon.

Now because I am making two smaller apple strudels I am using half of the apples for this one and half for the other. So take half of the apples and but them on a thin line directly on the bread crumbs. 

Then roll like a burrito and tuck in the ends like a present. Lightly make a small line incisions with a knife along the pastry this is called scoring. This acts like a vent and allows the pastry to let out some of its hot air while cooking, instead of steming it.  Brush with butter and add to a 400 degree oven for 15 mins. and then lower to a 375 degree oven until it is golden brown. (Oven times and degrees may vary for different ovens.) Then make your next one with the remaining apples and other simple steps.

Then.....about 7 hours later we woke up and made.......

 Homemade pancakes and some scrambled eggs!! I hear the rooster already.

 Happy Eatings!!

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