Apple Strudel (a.k.a. Apfelstrudel) and a Curried Vegetable Strudel : Daring Baker Challenge May 2009
Do you remember the song from the Sound of Music that goes "Raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens…….."?
I first heard that song when I was in school and that was my introduction to apple strudel. Of course, I didn't really know what apple strudel was then (or many of the other things mentioned in the song) except it was something with apples in it. And in those days, apples were as foreign to us as the strudel, given that I grew up in tropical countries (apples were rare in south India too) where apples were never seen.
Then the May Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Linda of Make Life Sweeter! and Courtney of Coco Cooks. They chose Apple Strudel from the recipe book Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers
In the many years since, I have filled in some of those above mentioned gaps in my knowledge but have still never seen or eaten an apple strudel even though apples are very commonplace here nowadays. So when this month's challenge was unveiled, it was the perfect opportunity for me to bridge one more gap! The additional bonus was that I didn't have to worry about eggs or too much butter.
In true Daring Baker challenge traditions, our hosts gave us a lot of creative freedom to use fillings of our choice. The only requirement this month was that the strudel dough be prepared using the given recipe. The detailed recipe can be found at the Daring Bakers website.
I made a sweet version with the given recipe for apple strudel and a savoury strudel with a curried vegetable filling. I really do not have much to say about this challenge other than it was quite easy for me, though stretching the dough out thin was initially difficult.
I got around this by dividing the dough into 2 portions and working on one at a time, to make the savoury and sweet strudels. It is unbelievable how thin this dough can really be stretched out. For a really good strudel the the dough should be so thin you should be able to read through it!
Filling for the Curried Vegetable Strudel :
- Heat the oil in a pan, and add the onions. Saute until they're translucent. Add the spices cook for one more minute over medium heat. Then add the potatoes, cabbage, carrot and green peas and mix well. Cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add the peas, cabbage, carrots and the salt and stir fry till they're cooked. Now add the potatoes and the chopped coriander. Mix well and turn off the heat. Add the lemon juice and the chopped coriander and mix well. Allow to cool and use in the strudel.
- Serve the Curried Vegetabke Strudel with sweet and sour tamarind and date chutney.
When the strudel came out of the oven, it was quite crisp layers of paper thin dough wrapped around a moist apple filling. Once it had cooled down a bit the outer layers lost their crispness and became a bit soft. This, I believe, is usual.Heat the oil and sauté the onions till soft. Add the turmeric, chilli, coriander, cumin and garam masala powders and sauté for a minute.
My savoury version was nice, but I think we definitely prefer our samosa filling in samosas and that strudel is best with a sweet filling. I'm not an expert here and this is just my opinion.
My first thought when I tasted the apple strudel was that it tasted like another version of apple pie. This was okay since my husband and I like apple pie, though our daughter prefers to differ in this matter.
I guess, in my imagination I had built up the apple strudel to be something very exotic and felt a bit let down, but to be honest if I wasn't comparing it to anything else this is a delicious yet light dessert. If you feel like making it richer, serve it warm with ice-cream.