As an apprentice we used to have to make this all the time, this was in the days before you could buy filo paste, that most people use these days instead of the real thing. This dessert is very easy to make, and good fun also. The paste has to very thin indeed, this is done by stretching the dough carefully, this is relatively simple to do. My old chef used to get his Times newspaper and place it under the stretched paste, if he could read the text then it was fine, if he couldn’t then you had to start all over again.
- For the paste>
- 375g plain flour, not strong flour
- 2 tbsp any oil
- 1 medium egg, beaten
- 2 pinches salt
- 200 mls cold water, roughly
- For the filling>
- 6-8 desert apples, peeled and cut into small wedges
- roughly 6-8 tbsp fresh brioche or breadcrumbs
- 2-3 tbsp of marmalade
- zest of 2 lemon
- 120g light brown sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 50g melted butter or oil
Mix the ingredients for the paste, then knead into a soft dough, then leave to rest for 1 hour.
Or if you prefer you can use 6 sheets of filo paste.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200° C, Gas 6.
- Place the apples, crumbs, marmalade, lemon zest, sugar and cinnamon into a bowl and mix very well.
- Cut the dough in half, the other half will freeze no problem (It’s difficult to make the dough in smaller quantities) then roll out a rectangle about 40cm x 20cm using a touch of flour.
- Next, lay a tea towel on the work surface and dust well with flour so the dough will not stick. Pick up the dough and stretch carefully, letting it fall away from your hands, so its own weight is doing the stretching, carefully teasing the dough apart. Don’t worry too much about a few holes, the secret is to get it nice and thin.
- Once you get to roughly the size of the tea towel, lay the dough on. Cut away any thick end pieces of dough and discard.
- Brush over 3/4 of the melted butter and spread out nice and evenly.
- If using filo paste then lay 3 sheets out on top of each other, then overlap by say 4-6cm to one side so you end up with another 3 sheets, so the paste is double the length, but the same width
- Next spread over the apple and marmalade mixture evenly. Then using the tea towel roll up the strudel making sure the end seal is underneath the finished roll.
- Cut in half and place on a baking sheet, seal the ends and brush with the remaining melted butter
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat and cook for further 20 minutes. The top will crispen and brown nicely.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool, eat warm with sauce and clotted cream