Was anyone looking for a Fall dessert recipe? I was, especially since it’s apple-picking season and I’ve been seeing apples practically everywhere.
Also, not gonna lie, I LOVED doing that Harry Potter Food series last summer and have missed it so much! I had been considering making Queenie’s Apple Strudel since then, especially because this treat has such a beautiful scene in the movie. I just wasn’t sure if I was ready for such a baking challenge.
But this time I decided to go for it anyway, and it turned out great! Also, I feel like it’s perfect timing because apple strudel screams FALL to me.
With a flick of her wand, Queenie sends raisins, apples and pastry into the air. The concoction neatly wraps itself up into a cylindrical pie, baking on the spot, complete with ornate decoration and a dusting of sugar. Jacob takes a deep breath: in heaven.
As some of you may know, I’m not an experienced baker at all. My first ever successful baking experiment happened just last year, so there’s still a LOT of room for improvement. That’s why I decided to do some research before making my own Queenie’s Apple Strudel.
My main source was Rosanna Pansino’s recipe from the Nerdy Nummies video, though I made some minor modifications and took advice from all the following sources:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 4 tbsp melted butter
- 1 apple (red, gala or Fuji)
- 1 tbsp confectioner’s sugar
- 3-4 apples (gala or Fuji)
- 1 lemon (juice and zest)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup raisins
For the dough I followed the directions from the Nerdy Nummies Apple Strudel: Mix flour, salt and cinnamon, then slowly add oil and warm water. To knead the dough I liked this video better, it’s basically punching and squishing the ingredients for about 10 minutes, but they show the technique really well. I also let it rest in a bowl for about 30 minutes after kneading, though I made the mistake of not covering the bowl with plastic wrap (I just put a towel over it) and the dough kind of oxidized and turned a bit grey. The flavor was fine, dough 😉
For the filling I peeled and diced 4 Fuji apples (but ended up using 3 because they were BIG), added the sugar, cinnamon, lemon zest and about 90% of the lemon juice. I also microwaved the raisins covered in water for about 20 seconds and then added them to the mix.
Now to the (second) hardest part of the recipe: stretching out the dough! I again used Binging with Babish‘s video for reference and used a large kitchen towel as support. After stretching the dough for what felt like hours (and with my boyfriend’s help), I decided it was thin enough (a.k.a. It wasn’t thin enough but I did my best). Many recipe sites say that you should be able to see the pattern of the towel through the dough…And well, that was really hard to achieve since the thinner it gets, it’s easier to accidentally make holes in it.
Many recipes recommended skipping all this trouble and just buy Filo dough since the flavor is basically the same. I’ll probably do that next time.
After stretching the dough I pre-heated the oven (actually toaster oven, my dear friend) to 425F. I couldn’t take a picture since my hands were too dirty at this point, but once the dough was stretched I tried to make it into an even rectangle by cutting the excess with a knife. I saved those extra pieces to make some braids.
Then I smeared the melted butter with a brush all over the dough and added the filling (only on 1/4 of the rectangle, on the far right).
Note: I diced 4 big Fuji apples for the filling, but it was a lot! I ended up using about 3 apples (and saved the rest to eat with my oatmeal 😉 yum). So after adding the filling I rolled everything like a giant burrito, adding more melted butter with every roll.
Before putting it in the oven I made some dough braids (the third most difficult part of this recipe) and covered everything with egg wash (a beaten egg + water). And into the oven for about 30 minutes at 425F and then 30 minutes at 350F.
While the strudel was in the (toaster)oven I though I would have fun making some apple flowers. But, HA! This was actually the hardest and most tiring part! I followed this tutorial to make apple flowers in the oven. I had to cut a red apple in half-circles, add those to a bowl and microwave them covered in water and the rest of the lemon juice. Then put the half-circles together one over the over (in the shape of a garland) and rolled them to make them look like a rose. But they would not stay like that! After staring at those wet apples for almost an hour, I finally came out with a solution: make aluminum oil fixtures!
After some trial and error I ended up with the perfect aluminum rings that could hold my apple roses in place. Then I baked them at 375F for about 30 minutes.
And ta-da! After everything came out of the oven I just had to put it together: The apple flowers over the strudel, all topped with confectioner’s sugar. And I know you guys can imagine the amazing smell. I mean, this recipe has apples and cinnamon and everything nice…
The flavor was also pretty magical. And the texture of the filling was my favorite part! Like warm and mushy apple pie filling. I might add pecans the next time for a bit of crunchiness, I skipped them this time since the Fantastic Beasts script only mentions raisins, apples and pastry flying into the air. (Also, pecans were super expensive at the supermarket and I don’t exactly have a Harry Potter Food budget…)
Also, I think the crust would have been better a bit thinner. I liked the flavor but some parts were kind of thick and weren’t crisp enough. Next time I’ll definitely consider either buying ready to use pastry or learning Queenie’s spell.
But isn’t this charming?? I think Queenie’s Apple Strudel is the most complicated thing I’ve baked so far (or it might be a tie with Harry’s favorite Treacle Tart).
I’m really happy with the results, but also ready to make an improved version some other time. And I know this wasn’t as simple as a magic trick, but knowing that I can make apple strudel from scratch and then eating it for breakfast..?? That’s magical indeed 🙂
What do you guys think? Will you go pick some apples and make this strudel the Muggle way? Also, wouldn’t it be perfect for Thanksgiving? Or Christmas!
Let me know if you decide to make it 😀