I just love saying the word strudel. It brings out my inner Austrian and brings back many happy memories of four precious days spent in Vienna, in December 2006.
I was so happy when Linda of make like sweeter! and Courtney of Coco Cooks announced that they would choose Apple Strudel as the May 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge. When I first read the recipe, for some reason I thought that it would be a first for me. But then I remembered that last year, I made an apple strudel from Carole Walter’s Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins & More: 200 Anytime Treats and Special Sweets for Morning to Midnight. I remember loving the dough and the filling so I could only hope that this challenge would be up to par.
My love of Rick Rodgers’ Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic CafÃ©s of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague is known far and wide. Or at least I think it is. I love the book so much I actually took it with me when I went to Vienna.
Who else brings cookbooks along as travel guides?
I’m not going to give you the painfuly long version of my adventures in Apple Strudel Land. Suffice to say that most parts of the recipe worked out successfully, except for the stretching of the dough. I developed some holes very early on and no matter how much I tried, I could not get it to the two feet by three feet specified in the recipe. I think I made it two feet by two feet before this happened:
Not a pretty sight.
Perhaps the greatest quality of strudel, though, is that it rolls. In baking, rolling means hiding, whether the hiding be a cracked sponge or an incredibly holey piece of strudel dough.
While my holes were significant and not all that well hidden, in the end, it still looked like a half decent strudel. Right out of the oven, it was quite good. The crust was crispy and the filling was juicy thanks to the apples and raisins. A day later, though, the dough had softened and the filling was a bit on the dry side. This is definitely a dessert to be served the day it’s baked.
It was fun to try strudel for a second time, although thus far, I have to say that the recipe in Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins & More: 200 Anytime Treats and Special Sweets for Morning to Midnight is superior.
Ay yay yay … another Daring Bakers’ challenge come and gone. Where does the time go???