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One of my fondest memories of fall was Opa and Oma’s orchard. They had several varieties of apples, a couple pears, and a few plums. Every fall we would leave the city to spend the day with Oma gathering fruit. Then she and Mom would spend the day making jam, jellies, and applesauce. Oma would send us home with bushels of fresh fruit, canned goodies, and a delicious apfelstrudel with a homemade blättertei.
My mouth still waters thinking about that apfelstrudel. So, of course, for this fall challenge, I knew I wanted to include Oma’s German apple strudel and I added some good old-fashion American bourbon to the mix.
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In a medium bowl mix together 1 cup flour, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Set aside. Using a stand mixer attached with a paddle, cream together 1/4 cup butter with 1 large egg.
TIP: Have you ever forgotten to take out the butter to soften for a recipe? Use the microwave! If your microwave has a time defrost setting, which uses lower watts, set a low time setting of 30 secs if a full stick. Reduce the time if less. This will give you a nice soft butter without any melting.
Or, fill a tall glass (a “glass” glass) with water and heat the water to a hot temp. Remove the glass and dump the water. Place the glass upside down over the butter and let sit for 10 or more minutes. The heat from the glass will soften the butter.
Slowly add the flour mixture a little at a time until you have a soft dough. Exchange the paddle attachment for the knead hook and knead on medium speed until soft ball forms.
Do not over knead or the dough will become too tough. Grease a bowl and transfer the dough to bowl turning once to grease top. Cover and let rest for 1 hour.
You want to start by getting the raisins nice and drunk. Combine 1/2 cup bourbon with 1/2 cup raisins and let soak them soak along with the resting dough for 1 hour.
Spread 1 cup pecans on a baking sheet lined in parchment paper in a single layer. Toast in a 400°F oven for 5 – 8 minutes. Set aside.
Dice 3 apples. I like to use to use gala apples in apple strudel. It holds up to baking without staying solid like a Granny Smith.
Place the apples in a medium saucepan, mix in 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon bourbon, 2 teaspoons lemon zest, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Heat on medium-low heat about 5 minutes, or until thickens. Remove from heat.
Chop the pecans. Drain the raisins and discard the bourbon. Mix the pecans and raisins into the apple mixture.
On a lightly floured surface roll the dough out into a very thin sheet, about 1/8-inch thick.
Melt a 1/4 cup butter in the microwave. Using a pastry brush, brush dough with butter. Spoon the apple mixture down the center. Gently roll into a cylinder tucking in the ends. Brush the outside of the roll with melted butter. Transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Sprinkle tops lightly with cinnamon sugar. Cut in a criss-cross pattern or if you are really ambitious cut the dough and fold over into a lattice pattern.
Bake in a 375°F oven for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
Enjoy this flaky strudel as an after-dinner treat, or in the morning with a nice cup of steaming coffee. Do you have a favorite fall memory? Share it in the comments below. – Ella💙
- 1 cup flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup bourbon plus 1 teaspoon
- 1/2 cup pecans chopped
- 3 Gala apples peeled, cored, and diced
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 cup butter
- Cinnamon sugar to dust
In a medium bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and cinnamon.
Using a standing mixer with the paddle attachment cream the butter and egg. Slowly add the flour mixture a little at a time until a soft dough forms.
Exchange the paddle attachment for the knead hook and knead on medium speed until it pulls away from the bowl and forms a ball.
Grease a medium bowl and transfer the dough to bowl turning once to grease top. Cover and let rest for 1 hour.
Combine 1/2 cup bourbon and raisins; let soak for 1 hour.
Toast the pecans in a 400°F oven for 5-8 minutes. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, add the apples, sugar, remaining bourbon (1 teaspoon), lemon zest, cinnamon and cornstarch. Heat on medium-low heat stirring occasionally. Cook until the apple mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Drain the raisins discarding the bourbon. Chop the pecans. Mix both into the apple mixture.
10. Melt the butter.
11. On a lightly floured surface roll the dough out into a very thin sheet, about 1/8-inch thick. Using a pastry brush, brush dough with melted butter. Spoon the apple mixture down the center of the dough. Gently roll the sheet into a cylinder tucking in the ends. Brush the outside of the cylinder with melted butter. Transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
12. Sprinkle tops lightly with cinnamon sugar.
13. Bake in a 375°F oven for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.