Apple strudel (Apfelstrudel) is a traditional Viennese strudel, a popular pastry in Austria and in many countries in Europe that once belonged to the Austro-Hungarian empire (1867–1918). Strudel is a loanword in English from German. The word itself derives from the German word Strudel, which in Middle High German literally means "whirlpool" or "eddy". In Hungary it is known as rétes, in Croatia as štrudla or štrudel, in Slovenia as štrudelj or zavitek, in the Czech Republic as závin or štrúdl, in Romania as ștrudel, in Serbia as štrudla or savijača and Slovakia as štrúdľa or závin). It is very popular in southern Brazil, Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as other ex-Yugoslav republics.
A strudel is a type of sweet or savory layered pastry with a filling inside, that gained popularity in the 18th century through the Habsburg Empire (1278-1780). "Strudel," a German word, derives from the Middle High German word for "whirlpool" or "eddy".
Strudel is most often associated with the Austrian cuisine, but is also a traditional pastry in the whole area formerly belonging to the Austro-Hungarian empire. In these countries, apple strudel is the most widely known kind of strudel. Apple strudel is considered to be the national dish of Austria along with Wiener Schnitzel and Tafelspitz. The oldest Strudel recipe is from 1696, a handwritten recipe at the Wiener Stadtbibliothek.
Apple strudel consists of an oblong strudel pastry jacket with an apple filling inside. The filling is made of grated apples, sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and bread crumbs. A juicy apple strudel should be baked with good cooking apples that are tart, crisp, and aromatic. The dough consists of flour, oil (or butter) and salt.
The secret of apple strudel dough preparation is in making the pastry very thin and elastic. Preparing of the original strudel dough is a difficult process that appears complex. The dough is kneaded by flogging, often against a table top, to align the starch molecules—but if it appears to be thick and chunky you must throw that dough away and make some new. It is rested, then rolled out on a big table, so it should cover the whole table, and than stretched by hand on a floured tablecloth. The dough should be very thin, and holes are mended if any occurs. When the dough is finally stretched out, an old fashioned apple strudel dough is very large, and often may reach the size of a bedsheet. A single layer should be so thin that one could read a newspaper through it.
Before baking, it is best to sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over the top coated with either butter or olive oil. The rolled-up and filled apple strudel is baked in a pan in the oven. The apple strudel is sliced and traditionally is served warm, often sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Toppings of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, custard, or vanilla sauce are popular in many countries. If the strudel is cooked correctly, no toppings should be necessary. Apple strudel can be accompanied by tea, coffee or even champagne. At a Viennese café (a typical Austrian institution that plays an important role in Viennese culture and culinary tradition), one of the most common treats is Apfelstrudel with coffee or tea.
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Apple Strudel, Wikipedia.org
Traditional Apple Strudel, chefinyou.com
Apple Strudel, www.foodnetwork.com