Much as I love traditional strudel the dough is a labour of love. Now you can enjoy the taste in this Apple Strudel Made Easy!
The key to easy here is using phyllo pastry.
Don't let phyllo dough intimidate you! You just have to keep all the sheets of dough that you are not working with at the moment under a damp towel. Because the dough is so thin it will dry out in just moments. When it is dry it sticks together like it is glued!
I have another trick for working with phyllo. All that melted butter to brush on - I only brush a few sheets and the rest I spray with cooking spray. You get a less intense 'buttery' experience but you save a lot of calories and a lot of work. It is like the 80/20 rule - you get 80% of the flavour for 20% of the work!
At first I hesitated to make this in the spring because apples are so often associated with Fall. But I had apples in the fridge and wanted to use them. I am glad I wasn't deterred.
The final product here is like a pastry shop treat with the sprinkled icing sugar topping, crispy dough layers and a delicious apple/cinnamon filling.
It is actually quite light as pastry goes -285 calories and 11 grams of fat compared to a traditional piece of apple pie at about 350 + calories and 20 grams of fat.
It is best eaten the day you make. It does keep in the fridge but after the first day gets pretty soggy on the bottom an the top loses its crispness. It is still good though! We motored through this over 3 days without complaint! Just don't serve it to company after day 1!
Apple Strudel Made EAsy
- ⅓ cup raisins
- 2 Tbsps brandy can substitute water
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 3 cups apples peeled, cored and rough chopped
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 3 Tbsps flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 Tbsps butter melted (set aside 2 tsps to brush the top)
- 2 Tbsps canola oil see note below if you want to lighten up with cooking spray.
- 6 sheets phyllo pastry
- 2 Tbsps sugar
- 2 tsps melted butter (reserved from above)
- pinch of cinnamon
- icing sugar for dusting
- Add raisins, brandy (or water) and almond extract to a small bowl. Microwave 2 minutes and let sit for at least 5 minutes.
- Prepare filling by mixing the ⅓ cup sugar, 3 Tbsps flour, cinnamon, raisin mixture and apples together.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Make a sheet of parchment paper to line a baking sheet. You will use the parchment as your work surface to form the strudel and then transfer it to the baking sheet.
- Mix the butter and canola oil, reserving 2 tsps. Position a sheet of phyllo on your parchment paper. (Keep remaining sheets covered with a damp, clean tea towel so it doesn't dry out.) Lightly brush the sheet with the butter mixture. Repeat with the other 5 phyllo sheets. See note below if you want to lighten it up with cooking spray.
- Spread apple mixture evenly over the strudel leaving a 2" edge all the way around.
- Fold the short ends in over the filling. Gently roll up the long edge using the parchment paper to help roll if necessary. Finish with the strudel roll seam side down. Brush with the reserved 2 Tsps of butter. Sprinkle the top with the 2Tbsps of sugar and the pinch of cinnamon.
- Bake at 350° for about 35 minutes. Pastry should be golden brown.
- Remove from oven and dust with icing sugar just before serving. Cut into 6 even slices and serve.