Sunday, 12 May 2013

quick and impressive apple strudel

This is easy. So easy, that if you make it for a special dinner or occasion, you might actually have to lie a little, and make out like it was harder because everyone will be so impressed. You don't want to give all your secrets away, do you?

The combination of cooking apples, pastry and cinnamon will win me over every time, and it's a great pudding to have when you want something warm and filling, especially to get us through these freezing 'summer' nights...

The picture above shows half of what I made - so the ingredients listed makes 2 separate strudels, which you can then chop in half again, making 4 hearty servings in total. 

Serves 4 (or you, all week!)

1 sheet of Jus-Rol puff pastry, defrosted
2 medium cooking apples (I use Bramley)
A liberal sprinkling of sugar
a fistful of raisins or sultanas
1 tablespoon of flour
Milk and sugar for the top. 

1. Preheat the oven to 175C and grease a baking tray with margarine. 

2. Peel, core and chop your apples into thin slices. Chuck them in a bowl, and add a liberal sprinkling of sugar, the cinnamon, sultanas and the flour to the bowl, and mix about. The flour stops the apples from getting quite as wet inside the pastry. 

3. Dust your surface with a little bit of flour, and get your pastry out. Carefully roll it out a bit until it's slightly bigger - you want it to still be rectangular. 

4. Lay your apples in a long row neatly down the middle of the pastry. Leave a bit of space at either end, and a gap in the middle, as the next thing you need to do is cut it through the gap, making 2 separate and shorter strudels. This step is key to fitting it in your oven!

5. Pull one side of the pastry up over the apple, and repeat for the other side until they're both neat little parcels (well, neat-ish - you can get away with this being 'rustic'). 

6. Flip them upside down so the seam is on the bottom (it's magic!) and carefully transfer to a greased baking tray, side by side fits the best. Once on the tray, you can brush them with a little bit of milk, and dust with sugar. I also cut slits on the top of the strudel with a sharp knife, which makes a great effect. I did about 4 slits per strudel.

7. Bake, and check after 20 minutes. It might need max 30, depending on your oven. It will puff up, and be ready when the pastry goes a lovely golden colour, and your whole kitchen is full of the delicious smell of cinnamon and apples.

If you want to be a fancy pants, you can dust them with a bit of icing sugar. Serve with vegan ice cream, cream or custard. Bird's Custard Powder is vegan! Just add soya milk :)

Do you have a recipe up your sleeve that's impressive but deceivingly easy? What's your go-to special pudding?

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