Let me start by saying you cannot go wrong with this one, and it is so good, you would have wished you would have made a half a dozen.
Our family recently did what most families do around this time of year, we went apple picking. This has been an annual event since my youngest was about two years of age. It is always such a fun thing to do during the Fall season, and allows the kids to sample different apples, while climbing trees, and having a blast in a pumpkin patch. We normally go to the Elegant Farmer probably due to the fact that they have a storefront that has some really killer apple pie in a bag. Yes, in a bag, and cooked in the bag. However this year, another orchard was recommended, and we paid a visit to Awe’s Apple Orchard, near Hales Corners, Wisconsin. As you can imagine, we came back with three large bags of apples, an assortment of delicious apples that have been packed in lunches ever since. I wanted to go beyond the lunch bag and make something really wonderful and give the kids to try apples outside of a pie, or a lunch bag, and they loved their new experience.
Apple strudels are typically apples stuffed in some dough, baked, and served with ice cream, whip cream, or something wonderful, however I wanted to make my own version of the strudel, using left over filo dough, almost going for a texture like baklava but with a bit more moisture from the apples. Enough already, lets get started.
Ingredients for the apple filling:
- Roughly 6-8 large apples, peeled, cored, chopped
- Pot of boiling water
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- zest and juice of one lemon
- 1 cup of water
- 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 cup of cornstarch
Add the chopped apples to the boiling water, and let them cook for nearly two minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, placing in a bowl, and let them cool. Empty the water, and add the pot back to the stove on medium heat, and cook the sugar, cinnamon, lemon zest, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, as well as the water, and bring this to a bowl. Next, add the cornstarch and juice of the lemon to a small bowl and mix well. Add the cornstarch mixture to the boiling sugar water, and mix well. you will notice this gets really nice and thick from the cornstarch. Reduce the heat and simmer for another couple of minutes. Add this mixture to the apples, mix, and let this cool.
Ingredients for Strudel filling:
- 2 rolls of fillo dough (16 oz), thawed
- 1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tbsp of ground cinnamon
- 2 cups of brown sugar
- 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
Begin by mixing the sugars and cinnamon together in a bowl. Lay out a sheet of the fillo dough, lightly brushing with the melted butter. Sprinkle the sugar mixture on the fillo dough, then repeat the process. On the last sheet of the first roll of the fillo dough, butter, sprinkle with sugar, and add the apple mixture along the short end of the dough, allowing a couple of inches along the edges. Roll into a log shape, tuck in the ends to seal, and lightly brush on more butter.
Repeat to make a second log.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Carefully transfer the logs onto your baking sheet. I use a couple of spatulas for this process. Once the oven is heated, bake for about 20-28 minutes until the log is a golden brown. Take in the smells. Your kids, family, or friends pretty much love you at this point in time. Once the logs are golden brown, remove and let them cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wired baking rack if you have one, to allow the bottoms to cool.
Dig in. Slice into 3 inch wide servings and serve with a nice cold glass of milk. I’m not kidding when I say these lasted only a few minutes in my house. That is always a great sign.