A few months back when we were in Germany, our friends generously gifted us with Alfons Schuhbeck‘s “Meine Kochschule,” a German cookbook. I’ve been eager to try some of the recipes in it so we held our first actual “dinner party” for our parents. On the menu: Wiener Schnitzel and apple strudel.
Overall, I’m very, very pleased with the apple strudel. It tasted wonderful and pretty authentic, I think. (Not quite the same as sipping hot chocolate and nibbling strudel in Salzburg’s Cafe Tomaselli…) When I made it last night, though, I thought it was the end of the world. Really.
The apple strudel was one of those experiences where it didn’t turn out perfectly but, after you sulk about it for a bit, you note the things to try differently next time. For example, I now understand why strudel dough creates fear from Top Chef contenders. I obviously didn’t stretch the dough enough and thus the apple to dough ratio was completely off. I also think that I may have had too much apple; the recipe called for 8 apples but after I saw just how much extra I had, I recalled that — from what I’d seen anyhow — that apples are generally smaller in Germany. (Since the recipe made two strudels, I was able to reduce the filling on the second strudel and instead pulled a frozen pie crust I had leftover and filled it: and thus strudel pie was invented!) I also didn’t plan ahead and when I went to place my filled and rolled strudel in the pan, it was longer than the pan. So it got a little jammed in there. And then the dough had some fine rips in it.
While it clearly wasn’t perfect it did taste fantastic! Plus I learned a lot for next time. Although it took about 4ish hours from start to finish, it was really worth it and not terribly difficult. And the great thing about cooking at home was that I was able to make the second strudel without raisins for my mother-in-law and without both almonds and raisins for myself.