Thursday, November 05, 2009
flour, about a cup or a bit more.
oil, a teaspoon or so.
water (must be tepid), roughly half to 2/3 the quantity of flour.
a pinch of salt.
[A word about the measurements] This recipe was given to me by an old Austrian cook. Like many with her background (eg my pasta teacher from a few years ago) she learnt by gauging quantities by eye. This the first recipe I have used which doesn't have strict measurement quantities but it isn't as hard as might be thought. If you want a bigger struedel, start with more flour! Give it a go, you'll be surprised.
Sift the flour and add the salt and oil. Then, mixing all the time, add water until the dough becomes soft but not so sticky that the dough sticks to your hands. It should feel a little tacky, but no dough should pull away from the main ball when you work it. If too much water has made the dough sticky add a bit more flour.
Once the right consistency of dough has been reached, keep working it for another 5 minutes
or more. Then form it into a ball, cover and let stand for at least half an hour.
Make your filling
200g Philadelphia cream cheese.
2 eggs (all or just the whites for fluffier filling)
Sugar, cinnamon, vanilla to taste.
Mix all to a paste
Sultanas/cranberries/currants for later.
Peeled and cored apples. Sliced thinly by knife, grater or mandolin.
Sultanas (I added cranberries too)
Preparing the pastry:
Lay out a large cotton cloth to work on. This is important as we will see later.
Roll out the dough into a rough rectangle. It will be about 5-8mm thick, now the tricky bit. Carefully lifting the dough drape it over the back of your hands (palms facing down) and feed the pasty across the backs of your hands in a circular motion. It sounds a bit weird but the dough stretches itself under its own weight. When the dough gets as thin as you are game to let it lay it back on the cloth and continue to stretch it by pulling the thicker sections. Be careful during all this to avoid tearing or putting holes in it. The pastry should end up thin enough to see the cloth pattern through.
After all this the pastry edges can be trimmed to be roughly rectangular. The offcuts can be used to patch any small holes in the pastry or discarded or laid back in the struedel filling.
Add the filling:
Spread the cheesecake mix over the pastry being careful not to tear it. The filling should end up 5-10mm thick. Sprinkle with sultanas.
Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the pastry. The crumbs absorb some of the juice from apples
and also cushion them slightly so they dont tear the pastry. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on the pastry then layer on the sliced apples. Over the pastry the filling should be about 1-2cm thick (your choice).
Rolling the Struedel:
This is where the cloth under the struedel comes into its real use. Start by taking one edge of the pastry and folding it back over the filling. Then, keeping the cloth parallel with that edge of the struedel, lift the cloth in a steady, continuous motion. As you do this the Struedel will roll up onto itself. When completely rolled up the cloth can also be used to lift the struedel into an oiled baking pan.
Place in an oven preheated to 180 C and cook for 20-25 minutes for a small struedel and 30-
40 minutes for a larger (more filled) one.