Well, this is my first post in a couple of weeks – the OH and I have been away on holiday in Prague in the Czech Republic. It was amazing! Such beautiful architecture, rich history and fantastic beer! I’m not a beer drinker generally, but it’s impossible to go there and not indulge in a pint or two!
The only down side is that Czech food doesn’t tend to be all that variable… Which is to say that if you’re not overly keen on pork or bread (or bread dumplings) this may not be the destination for you. I like both well enough, but I’ll admit I was longing for some vegetables by the end of the week.
There wasn’t much in the way of puddings on offer, either (although given how full the main course generally left me, even my separate pudding stomach had to be drafted in to cope with the carb influx!) – the one evening I did have pudding I had the ubiquitous Apple Strudel. Or did I? Out of curiosity, who covers their Apple Strudel with chocolate sauce? And who leaves the skin on the apple? Not convinced this was a good choice, but never mind.
Getting back to the UK, Autumn is well under way; gales, heavy rain, and dark mornings. Joy. Just the sort of weather for a proper Strudel, or my made-up version of one.
Tart (‘s) Apple Strudel
1 Sheet puff pastry
1 large cooking apple and 1 or 2 small eating apples
Juice of half a lemon
A couple of handfuls of sultanas
A handful of mixed peel
A couple of tablespoons of home-made Orange and Cardamom rum (or a fruit liqueur of some description)
A couple of handfuls of granulated sugar (plus a bit extra for dredging)
A couple of teaspoons of butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 egg, beaten
Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, toss the sliced apples with the lemon juice until the apples are thoroughly coated. Add the raisins, peel, spices, sugar, liqueur and the 2 teaspoons cold cubed butter and toss well. Set aside.
Lightly dust the counter or work surface with flour. Lay the puff pastry on top and dust the rolling pin with additional flour. Gently roll the puff pastry to 1/8-inch thickness.
Spread the apple and raisin mixture over the bottom half of the puff pastry square leaving about 1-inch of space along the side edges (I try and drain off most of the liquid from the apples to keep it crisp). Fold the top half of the puff pastry over and pinch to seal the edges together.
Brush the entire strudel with the beaten egg and then sprinkle with sugar. Using a serrated knife, make diagonal slits across the top of the strudel.
Place the strudel on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, rotating halfway through cooking, until the pastry is puffed and golden brown.