Apple strudel, a flaky phyllo pastry filled with brandy-soaked raisins, apples and walnuts, is delicious any time of day with a cup of coffee.
Servings: 6 to 8
Prep Time:30 Minutes
Cook Time:45 Minutes
Total Time:1 Hour 15 Minutes
3 large (about 1½ lbs) baking apples, peeled, cored and sliced ⅛-in thick (see note)
⅓ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoonsapple brandy or regular brandy
½ cupwalnuts, very finely chopped
10 (9x14-in) sheets phyllo dough, thawed
1 stick (½ cup)unsalted butter
¼ cuppanko bread crumbs
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
In a large skillet, combine the apples, granulated sugar, cinnamon, brandy, raisins, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the liquid from the apples dissolves and the apples are soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the walnuts and set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Line a 13 x 18-inch baking sheet with parchment paper.
Wet and wring out a clean dishtowel. Have the melted butter nearby with a brush. Unroll the phyllo and cover it with the plastic wrap from the package (it's usually rolled in a sheet of plastic) or a sheet of wax paper, followed by the damp towel; keep it covered as you work so it doesn’t dry out. (Note: if you work quickly, you don’t need to be quite as careful about this.)
Place 1 phyllo sheet on a clean work surface with the long side facing you. Brush the sheet with melted butter. You may find it easier to drizzle a bit of butter on the dough with the brush and then spread it across the dough in gentle strokes. Layer with four additional phyllo sheets, brushing each layer with the melted butter. (You should have a stack of five buttery sheets.)
Spread half of the panko followed by half of the apple mixture (on top of the panko) in a 3 by 10-inch rectangle about 2 inches from the bottom of the phyllo sheets and about 2 inches from each side. Fold the sides of the phyllo over the filling, then fold the bottom edge of the phyllo over the filling. Roll up jelly-roll style and carefully transfer to the prepared baking sheet, seam side down. Repeat the process with the remaining phyllo sheets and apple filling. Brush the top of the strudels with the remaining butter. With a sharp knife, cut diagonal slits in 2-in intervals through the top layers of the dough just to the filling.
Bake until the strudels are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool for at least 20 minutes. Transfer the strudels to a cutting board and slice each one into thirds or quarters. Dust with confectioners' sugar, then serve warm or room temperature.
Note: Readily available baking apples include Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Fuji, Jonagold, and Honey Crisp. Use a mix of different varieties for best results.
Note: Phyllo is more forgiving than you think. If it tears, just patch it back together with your fingers.
Make-Ahead & Freezing Instructions:
You can prepare the strudel rolls and refrigerate them for up to 2 hours before baking. You can also wrap the individual rolls in heavy-duty aluminum foil and freeze for a few months; just keep in mind that frozen strudel rolls will take a bit longer to cook. (Leftovers reheat well in a 300°F oven or toaster oven.)