Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Apple Strudel, German style

One day on the river cruise, the pastry chef, Klaus Ungruh, gave a lecture about apple strudel. The draw, of course, was that we'd all get a slice when it was all said and done. About 60 of us gathered around a table to watch. Frank, the tour director and the chef had a very cute repartee going. As Frank listed the ingredients, the chef pulled them out of a shelf below the table. Into the very large and deep Hobart mixing bowl he placed a plastic bag of flour (sealed up), a full bottle (not pouring, just the bottle) of oil, a round box of salt and he poured in some water and literally threw in an egg - splat... We all laughed. He pretended to mix and knead it inside the bowl, then, as if by magic he reached down into the bottom of the bowl and voila, he pulled out a round disk of dough. Even more laughs. He whisked the rolling pin over the dough about 10 times, turned it over and rolled another 10 times, and the dough was done.
Then he used another bowl and to it were added: apples, raisins, cookie crumbs, cinnamon, rum, hazelnuts, sugar and lemon peel. In about 5 seconds he mounded the filling on the dough, and rolled it up. Done. Off it went to the kitchen, and they brought in an already baked one for us to sample. Delish. Whether I'd really make this or not, I don't know. I did make strudel once upon a time (when I was very young, with a woman who was a live-in cook for a neighbor), but I thought it an awful lot of work. This version seemed infinitely easier. It was served with a vanilla sauce, warm.
Viking River Cruises Apple Strudel
2 cups flour
3 T. oil
1/2 cup water
Dash salt
1 egg
10 medium apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup raisins
1/2 pound cookie crumbs (they called it "biscuit), probably like vanilla wafer crumbs
6 T. rum (or more to your taste)
4 T. chopped hazelnuts
1 c. granulated sugar
Peel of one lemon
Dough: mix all the ingredients together. Make a ball and let it rest for 45 minutes at room temperature - 75 to 80 degrees. Roll out the dough on a cloth sprinkled with flour, approximately 16 inches by 16 inches.
Filling: Combine all the ingredients and spread over the dough in a long strip from one edge to the other, about 4-5 inches wide. Using the cloth, gently roll up the strudel. Brush the top of the strudel with some egg and bake for 40 minutes at 356 degree Fahrenheit. Probably served about 10-12.

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