Austria

Dish

Legend has it that the Apple Strudel was the favorite dessert of Empress Sisi and Crown Prince Rudolf. Even the Emperor, whose fondness for sugared pancakes with raisins and baked apples (known to Austrians as “Kaiserschmarrn”) is well-documented, was said to be avid fan of the Apple Strudel. It was this imperial pleasure which allegedly prompted him to say, “All good things come in threes.”

Ingredients

  • 100g butter
  • 80g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 6 sheets filo pastry
  • 750g sweet apples
  • the zest and juice of a lemon
  • 50g caster sugar
  • ground cinnamon
  • 50g golden sultanas
  • 50g flaked almonds

Method

  1. Peel, core and quarter the apples. Cut each quarter into thin slices.
  2. Toss them with the lemon zest and juice, the sugar and ground cinnamon.
  3. Add the sultan as and flaked almonds.
  4. Set the oven at 200C/gas mark 6.
  5. Melt the butter in a small frying pan, then pour a good half of it into a small bowl.
  6. To the butter remaining in the pan, add the breadcrumbs and fry till they are golden and crisp.
  7. Tip them out on to kitchen paper.
  8. Place a sheet of greaseproof paper or a clean tea towel on a work surface.
  9. Cover with a sheet of filo, brush with some of the melted butter and scatter over 2 heaped tbsp of the toasted breadcrumbs.
  10. Place another sheet of pastry on top. Brush that, too, with butter and breadcrumbs and continue until all 6 sheets are used up.
  11. Scatter any remaining breadcrumbs over the top sheet of pastry.
  12. With the long edge of the pastry nearest you, tip any remaining breadcrumbs over the pastry, then pile the apple filling on to the nearest third of the pastry.
  13. Make sure the edge is well buttered, then roll up the pastry into a fat sausage, keeping the filling in place as you roll.
  14. Squeeze the open edges together to seal the filling inside.
  15. Slide it on to a flat baking sheet. Brush the outside of the pastry with butter and bake for 30 minutes or so until the pastry is thoroughly crisp.
  16. Dust with icing sugar and serve.