June Meyer's Authentic Hungarian
Special occasions meant Apple Strudel time. As Christmas and Thanksgiving fall in winter when apples were at their best, Apple Strudel was then always served. When my Grandma made strudel, she would have all hands available helping. The dining room table would be covered with a white cloth on which the strudel dough would be pulled thin until you could read a newspaper through it. The women would walk around the table stretching the dough by lifting it with their round knuckles to avoid tears. When all the apple slices and ingredients were spread out on the tissue dough, the eldest would supervise the rolling up of the strudel by pulling up on the cloth to create a big roll of strudel. When the rolling was done, the roll would be cut into 6 or 8 sections, the ends tucked under and all placed into the oven to bake. When the strudel was done, we children would fight to get the thick juice that cooked out onto the pan. It was like candy, apple, cinnamon, and butter flavor all mixed together. Today we can get apples all year round and purchased Filo dough saves a lot of back breaking work.
Here is a simple way of making good Hungarian strudel. Buy FILO dough. You will be able to find it where the frozen pastry shells are. It is as good as homemade but much less work. Follow directions for strudel, using melted butter to brush on filo tissue.
Regards, June Meyer.
Mix apples with crumbs (crumbs help to keep juice in strudel instead of flooding pan). Mix suger and cinnamon in a dish. Lay out clean towel and put sheets of buttered Filo dough on top. Place apples on prepared filo layers that have been brushed with butter. Start spreading apples about 3 inches from the edge closest to you (you need a clean area so you can get it in the pan. Completly cover the rest of the filo dough with apples. Sprinkle cinnimon and sugar mix over the apples. Now take the edge of the towel near you and slowly start to make a big roll by pulling up and towards you. This is not as hard as it sounds. As you are rolling it you can roll it right into a greased pan. Then tuck the ends of the strudel underneath itself. Brush top with more butter and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour. Brush every 20 min. with butter. Strudel is done when it looks like it has collapsed. Cool and cut into slices and dust with powderd sugar.
You can vary the filling by adding chopped walnuts, or raisins. If you add raisins you must first soften them in hot water and then dry them before using. I prefer using just apples.
When you lay out the filo sheets you will want to have at least
4 or 6 layers buttered one on top of the other. You will have enough sheets to make
several strudels so buy at least 4 or 5 lbs of apples. It is not really a lot of
work and you will have a wonderful dessert.