The first detailed text on the preparation of strudel, specifically apple strudel, dates back to 1827 and can be found in the“Great Viennese cookbook” by Anna Dorn. In the text, Dorn calls the cake Apfelstrudel, or ‘apple swirl’.
The actual origin of the cake, however, does not have such definite roots: Strudel in fact originated from a long intercontinental journey, and its spread across Europe was the result of numerous trade exchanges and culinary influences. Suffice it to say that the earliest records of the dessert date back to documents of Asian origin, such as an Assyrian manuscript from the 8th century B.C., which describes an end meal consisting of layers of puff pastry or unleavened bread, nuts and honey.
This combination is successful in the kingdoms of
Mesopotamia thanks to the Silk Road, through which the dessert reached Greece in the 3rd century BC and later Turkey, giving rise to dishes such as güllaç and baklava.
In 1526, with the territorial expansion led by Sultan Suleiman The Magnificent, strudel made its way into Hungary. Here, confectioners probably started adding apples and replacing walnuts with pine nuts, leading to several transformations in the basic recipe. In the 6th century, Turkish phyllo dough began to be used and the so-called “crazy dough”.
More than a century later, with the conquest of Hungary by Austria in 1699, strudel was enjoyed in Vienna’s aristocratic salons, transforming it from a simple end to a noble dish (also thanks to the addition of sultanas macerated in liqueur).
What will you need?
Puff pastry 230 g
Apples 650 g
Raisins 30 g
Breadcrumbs 50 g
Brown sugar 60 g
Butter 50 g
Succo di limone 30 g
Cinnamon powder 1 teaspoon
Pine nuts 30 g
Whole milk 3 tablespoons
PER LA SUPERFICIE:
Powdered sugar to taste.
To make apple strudel, soak the raisins in water for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, melt 30 g butter in a frying pan and add the breadcrumbs, browning them and stirring frequently. Toast the pine nuts in another pan and set aside. Peel the apples, cut them into quarters and slice them thinly.
Transfer the apple slices to a bowl, add the strained lemon juice, toasted pine nuts, soaked and drained raisins, brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix well and melt the butter.
Stendi la pasta sfoglia su carta forno e spennellane la superficie con il burro fuso. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs, leaving a margin at the edges. Spread the apple slices over the dough and close forming a strudel, folding the side edges and sealing well. Wrap the strudel with baking paper and invert it onto a baking sheet.
Mix the yolk with the milk and brush the surface of the strudel. Bake in a ventilated oven at 180°C (350°F) for about 25 minutes in the lower part of the oven. Once baked, let the strudel cool and, if desired, dust the surface with powdered sugar.
Et voilà, your apple swirl is ready! You can bite it right away, or keep it in a covered container at room temperature for a couple of days.
If you used fresh ingredients instead, you can freeze the cooked strudel.