11 Oct Apple Quince Strudel
Hello to you all! I know its been a while and for a good reason. I have been busy with all kinds of things and not entirely unrelated to this culinary stuff that I love to do. It came to my attention that a little cafe in my neighbourhood was looking for a successor and in many ways it would have been perfect for me. Until life got in the way and had different plans with me. I sorted all kinds of things and my head and was ready to plunge into this adventure and it was thrusted to a full stop when the owner of the cafe chose someone else. In the first moment I was disappointed but it didn’t take me long to realize that all things happen for a reason and I am probably not suited for this kind of work and the universe has better things in store for me or at least I hope so. So to make a long story short I have been guided in my life by unseen forces that want me to continue to blog and share beautiful strudel recipes with you, right? Well, to be honest I still don’t know and haven’t figured many things out. I am still searching and I still haven’t found that “thing” called a job that fills my soul and also my bank account. I guess I have to keep on ploughing away and continue to make space for doing the things I love, like writing and creating recipes for this space and offering my unique and personal twist on classic dishes and giving them a plant-based makeover. I also won’t be surprised if I continue seeing jobs as essential but tedious aspects of day to day life. I still believe that combining my true gifts with the world won’t necessarily bring met financial freedom and I can’t wait for the day when I am proved otherwise.
So lets move on to something more uplifting like a beautiful strudel. I know that most of you know apple strudel and it is one of the most beloved desserts in Viennese and Austrian cuisine and generally all over central Europe. I actually first learned about strudels from my mother who would make them on special occasions. It was always a highlight and I guess I have her to thank and a whole lineage of other women who perfected the technique of rolling out the dough until it is as thin as tissue paper. That and many other details create the masterpiece that I experienced as a child and growing up. I could go on and on about how great it is and of course many would argue their mother and their grandmother does it this or that way but today I will offer you my version which is a mix of traditional and with the added bonus of a healthy fat and no refined sugar or flour. Most strudels are made with white flour, white sugar and lots of butter. I have eliminated all three and replaced them with more nutritious wholegrain spelt flour, coconut sugar and coconut oil. Mastering the technique of rolling out the dough with wholegrain flour is very difficult but I am sure with lots of patience and a calm demeanor are all beneficial in creating this version. To make things a little bit more interesting I have added a glorious fall fruit. Quinces are the most intriguing fruit. They look like furry apples with a strange shape. Once you come closer you will detect the most fragrant of smells that a fruit can possess. The downside is that only cooking can bring out its luscious qualities and it requires patience much in the same way that stretching strudel dough does. So I guess you could say that the two fit together like a pea in a pod. Apple and quince complement each other very well well so when they are in season I like to combine them. I am very interested in old family recipes and what I’m about to share is somewhat of an heirloom to me. I would love to hear if you have any special family secret recipes and if you share them. I personally believe that the person makes the dish not the recipe but sometimes there are small details that lift something from the regular to the sublime. My mother has this gift and I hope that I have this gift too. My family thinks so. So let me walk you along into the magic of strudel making.
Apple Quince Strudel
Note: This recipe is more of a method than an exact recipe. Its important to adjust things according to your climate and how much humidity is in the air.
350 g wholegrain spelt flour, sifted
120 ml warm water
40 g coconut oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
a pinch of salt
4 apples, I used Topaz which are a sweet and sour variety
80 g coconut blossom sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
100 g walnuts, toasted
4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
Additional equipment: tablecloth, extra flour,baking sheet lined with parchment paper, rolling pin
- Begin by preparing the dough. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and add all the wet ingredients in the middle of the bowl and mix them with your hands until you can form a ball. Flour a clean surface and continue kneading the dough until it feels smooth and soft. This can take up to 5 minutes. Grease a bowl and place the dough inside and cover with a wet towel or plastic wrap and let it sit for up to 2 hours.
- For the filling, prepare a large bowl and juice the lemons and grate the zest of one of the lemons directly into the bowl. Then begin peeling and cutting the apples and quinces adding the diced fruit into the bowl. Add the coconut blossom sugar, cinnamon and salt and distribute everything evenly and set aside.
- Toast the walnuts in the oven for 10 minutes at 180 °C. Once the walnuts have cooled off chop them finely or put them in a food processor and grind them for a few seconds until coarsely chopped. Add to the apple quince mixture.
- Now that the dough has had a chance to rest cover a table with a tablecloth and flour the surface of the tablecloth generously with flour. Place the dough onto the tablecloth and make sure it has enough flour on both sides and start rolling it out in all directions. Aim for a rectangular shape or simply cover as much of the table cloth as you can. When the dough is about 5 cm thick pick it up in your hands and stretch it with your underarms like pizza dough. I especially stretch the outer edges of the dough. Then place it back on the tablecloth and continue rolling the dough with the rolling pin.
- When the dough is thin but still not transparent lift the outer edges and pull gently from underneath the dough and blow under the dough. This creates and airy and light textured crust. IF the dough starts breaking don’t worry this is not a problem. The dough will be rolled and we are aiming for an absolutely light as possible texture.
- Move around the dough and try to stretch it as much as possible and until the tablecloth is visible.
- Once the dough has rolled out as much as possible, melt some coconut oil in a small pan and let it cool off before drizzling it all over the surface of the dough.
- Let the dough dry for about 30 minutes and preheat the oven to 170 °C in the meantime.
- To complete the strudel add the filling on the longest end of the dough leaving a few centimeters of space on each end. Fold the dough on the edges first using the tablecloth followed by the length of the dough.
- Transfer the strudel onto the baking sheet with the help of the tablecloth sliding it gently onto the baking sheet. Form it into a horseshoe shape and brush it with the remaining coconut oil and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and serve warm or at room temperature.