How to Make Traditional Apple Strudel
ICE’s Director of Pastry Research & Development shows us how to make his favorite pastry recipe.
Vienna native Jürgen David, ICE’s Director of Pastry Research and Development, grew up making strudel with his grandmother in the traditional fashion, stretching pastry dough incredibly thin across a cloth-lined table, and then rolling it up.
In fact, it’s one of the reasons he enrolled in pastry school in the first place.
“Fridays in Switzerland was ‘Strudel Day,’ so I made strudel by myself all day,” he says of his time working at the Confiserie Himmel in Baden, Switzerland, where he was a machine, making upwards of 16 to 20 strudels on any given Friday. Making his favorite pastry in large quantities never bothered him. “It’s fun — and there’s no one who doesn’t like it. If you don’t like it, I can’t trust you.”
Traditional Austrian strudel is a pastry comprised of thin layers of dough with an apple filling of tart apples (typically Granny Smith), sugar, raisins and walnuts, as well as sour cream.
Chef Jürgen suggests adding the filling ingredients in a single layer after rolling out the dough; mixing the filling together prior to assembly will result in a soggy strudel as the sugar will draw the water out from the apples. Another tip from the strudel pro? Roll it in its entirety before trimming at the end — and always serve with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.
Yield: One 24”x4” strudel
For the Dough:
- 135 grams all-purpose flour
- 65 grams bread flour
- 2 grams salt
- 26 grams vegetable oil
- 100 grams warm water
- Additional vegetable oil, as needed
For the Cinnamon Sugar
- 200 grams sugar
- 8 grams cinnamon, ground
For the Filling:
- 15 grams butter
- 35 grams breadcrumbs
- 2 tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled and cored
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Flour, as needed
- 120 grams clarified butter
- 35 grams sugar
- 20 grams rum
- 20 grams raisins
- 35 grams chopped walnuts, optional
- 35 grams sour cream, optional
For the Dough:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the all-purpose flour, bread flour and salt.
- Add the 26 grams vegetable oil and water to the mixture. Turn the mixer on low speed and process the mixture until combined.
- Increase the speed to medium and continue mixing until the dough has come together. The final dough should completely come away from the sides of the bowl and have a smooth, elastic texture.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and shape it into a boule.
- Lightly coat the dough with a small amount of vegetable oil, then cover with plastic wrap.
- Let the dough rest for 20–30 minutes at room temperature.
For the Cinnamon Sugar:
- Combine all ingredients and mix well. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
For the Filling:
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs to the melted butter and stir until lightly toasted.
- Transfer the mixture to a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper to cool quickly.
- Cut each apple into six wedges. Next, cut each wedge into 1/8” slices. Toss the apple slices in a bowl with the lemon juice. Set aside until ready to use.
For the Assembly and Finish:
- Preheat the oven to 390˚F (199˚C). Line the workstation with a clean tablecloth measuring at least 30” long by 30” wide.
- Remove the dough from the plastic wrap, then gently stretch it on the workstation until it measures approximately 30” long and 30” wide. Lightly brush the dough with a portion of the clarified butter.
- Add the cooled toasted breadcrumbs, cinnamon sugar, rum and chopped walnuts (if using) to the bowl of apple slices. Gently stir to coat.
- Using a spatula, spread the apples in a 4” wide strip over the lower center 2/3 of the dough. Pipe a line of sour cream next to the apples, if desired.
- Trim the edges of the dough with a chef’s knife and discard excess dough.
- Roll up the strudel using the tablecloth, then transfer the strudel to a parchment-lined sheet pan. Brush the top of the strudel with remaining clarified butter.
- Place the strudel into the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until crisp and golden.
- Cooked strudel should be cooled slightly before serving. Strudel can be cooled, wrapped and recrossed in the oven the following day.