This is an important recipe, because the groundhog told us that we are in store for another six weeks of winter, and the weather people are telling us that we don’t even have to wait 6 weeks, because the next winter storm is already here, and you just looked in your cupboard and you’re out of hot chocolate. This is an important recipe because we all need comfort in our lives right now, and, friends, let’s be honest: there is nothing more comforting than caramelized apples and nuts in a flaky pastry, all warm and toasty out of the oven.
This recipe will take you back to a simpler time – October, really. When the crisp air was just setting in, and cold weather meant hay rides and pumpkin patches, and there was promise of holidays coming just around the corner. A time when all you were thinking about was apples and everything you can make with them! It will take you to a happier time. Not early February when your wool socks have worn down, and when you are at your most content under a blanket…any blanket. Wow. This really is a downer of a post!
But it’s not! Because it brings to you this delicious apple strudel. It’s so simple to put together. It has all the components of an apple pie without that heavy, dessert-y feel. It’s light and crisp (like fall!), and just lovely with a cup of tea. Perhaps you want to make it today as the snow falls. It’s perfect to eat inside looking out the window.
Apple Walnut Strudel (slightly adapted from the SoNo Baking Company Cookbook)
2.5 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. all spice
1/4 tsp. grated fresh nutmeg
pinch of salt
2 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and diced in 1/2 inch cubes
juice of 1/2 lemon
In a pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add sugar, spices and salt and mix together so they are blended together as much as possible. Add apples and stir to make sure that all of the apples are coated. Cook until apples are soft, about 15 minutes. Take off the heat and add lemon juice. Stir to combine. Let filling cool completely.
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
6 sheets frozen filo dough, thawed according to box directions
turbinado sugar, to sprinkle
In a small bowl, mix together sugar and cinnamon and set aside. Set up a station with the cinnamon sugar, walnuts in another bowl, and melted butter in a third bowl. Lay down one sheet of filo, with the long side, or width parallel with the work surface, and carefully brush with melted butter until it completely covers the sheet with a light layer. Carefully place down another sheet and repeat with butter. Sprinkle the second sheet evenly with cinnamon sugar and 1/3 of the walnuts.
Place another sheet on top and brush with butter. Place a fourth sheet on top, and brush with butter, sprinkle with half of the remaining cinnamon and sugar and 1/2 of the walnuts. Continue with the 5th sheet and brush with butter. Layer the last and 6th sheet on top, brush with butter sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar and the rest of the walnuts.
Spread the apple filling in a 3 inch wide layer at the bottom of the dough, leaving about 1/2 inch pastry at each end and 1 inch at the bottom. Roll the strudel from the bottom into a flat log. Tick in the edges. Set the strudel, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Pierce several times with a knife to let out steam while baking. Brush with remaining melted butter and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
Bake until golden, about 25-30 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet on a wire rack for 10 minutes before cutting into pieces.
Photo 4 Credit: Farhat Umar